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Freedom's Phoenix

Phoenix Food Sales Tax, One Rotten Apple

April 30, 2013 - 2:57pm
Jim Iannuzo by Jim Iannuzo

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Politicians wanting to raise taxes cite public safety concerns which now rival the insincere baby kissing photo opportunity. In reality, it's all about spreading germs.



The city of Phoenix, Arizona passed a 2010 measure taxing groceries (food tax). This new 2 percent tax expires in 2015 but highlights political corruption and public employee union greed. Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos said without the new food sales tax, hundreds of police officers and firefighters would be fired. Requests for city records uncovered that the food sales tax revenue was spent on city salary increases, retention bonuses and performance pay increases for city employees. City Manager David Cavazos received a 33% pay increase hiking his base pay to $315,000 plus a generous $600/month car allowance and longevity bonus. A sweet deal for someone who claimed that without the food tax, he would be forced to lay off more than 1000 city workers.

City of Phoenix employees receive an average annual compensation of approximately $100,000 which includes salary, health care, tuition reimbursement, 40+ days per year in paid time off, long and short term disability, and a retirement plan. Contrast that with an average private sector employee who is paid $50,000, has seen no increase in wages and is afraid to miss work when sick, while being asked to pay a new food sales tax that goes directly to increased city worker salary and benefits.

Taxes create dependencies, picking winners and losers, lowering production and decreasing economic freedom. As economic activity decreases all of us become poorer resulting in an increased need for assistance. Government assistance is the most costly form as it results in the dislocation of private capital becoming unsustainable as seen in Spain, Italy or Greece. Phoenix now allocates an additional $250,000 in annual spending directly to food banks to compensate for this tax. The most vulnerable workers are forever likely to live in abject poverty due to government policies that throttle the economy. Compassion is not a bureaucratic endeavor.

Elimination of the Phoenix Food Sales Tax is a step in improving local economic conditions. There will be a procedural vote on 05/01/2013 at the council meeting to cut the tax to 1%, which is important since it exposes those council members who continue to pursue their own interests at our expense. Forget honesty for the moment, Mayor Stanton made a campaign promise to repeal the food sales tax, this meeting should provide the opportunity to see if he lives up to his word.


PHOENIX COUNCIL MEMBERS - WHO SUPPORT REPEALING FOOD SALES TAX
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DiCiccio, Sal council.district.6@phoenix.gov 602-262-7491
Gates, Bill council.district.3@phoenix.gov 602-262-7441
Waring, Jim council.district.2@phoenix.gov 602-262-7445

PHOENIX COUNCIL MEMBERS - WHO MAY SUPPORT REDUCING THE FOOD SALES TAX
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*Williams, Thelda council.district.1@phoenix.gov 602-262-7444
*Nowakowski, Michael council.district.7@phoenix.gov 602-262-7492
*it is unclear how Williams and Nowakowski will vote.

PHOENIX COUNCIL MEMBERS - WHO SUPPORT THE FOOD SALE TAX
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Johnson, Michael council.district.8@phoenix.gov 602-262-7493
Simplot, Tom council.district.4@phoenix.gov 602-262-7447
Stanton, Greg mayor.stanton@phoenix.gov 602-262-7111
Valenzuela, Daniel council.district.5@phoenix.gov 602-262-7446



Related Content:

Do Rich/Wealthy People Deserve Tax Breaks? - Nick Coons
Phoenix, Drunken Politicians and a New Food Tax - Jim Iannuzo
So It's Either Food or Security, Mayor Gordon? - Kimberly Ruff


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