Bye Bye Food Tax in April 2013

| January 10 2013

From Sal DiCiccio and Jim Waring:

“I join [Councilwoman Williams] in advocating for a tax that will expire in April 2013, saving taxpayers $100 million.”

- Mayoral Candidate Greg Stanton on Phoenix food tax, Ahwatukee Foothills News, 17 Sept. 2011

  

Candidates make promises.  They become commitments when elected. It’s important for government — and the people that citizens elect to run it — to follow through on commitments. It’s about trust.  No more scare tactics.  No more delays.  No more phony stories about how police and fire will be cut.  This morning Councilman Jim Waring and I sent a letter to Mayor Stanton (see below or link: http://tinyurl.com/a4dbn5h) to schedule a meeting and a vote on the food tax as soon as possible to meet his campaign promise to abolish this ill conceived tax by April 2013.  Other council members and myself have a long-running commitment to repeal the food tax. 

It is time to rid our city of the tax on the poor….the food tax.  Council members Bill Gates, Thelda Williams, Jim Waring and myself have worked relentlessly to get this recinded.  With the mayor and his commitment we will finally remove this from our history and from your family’s grocery bill.   The food tax has been the No. 1 complaint I have heard since it was passed with barely 24-hour legal public notice.  It was hidden even from some members of the council until the last moment.  This “middle of the night” maneuver not only robbed our citizens of over $50 million a year, but it made citizens in our great city feel betrayed by their own government.

Since that episode Phoenix has made great strides to repair the damage of trust that was done, with a much improved financial position, zero-based budgeting and effective innovations and efficiencies.

During the mayoral campaign, Mayor Stanton made a promise — one I intend to help him keep. It was a promise to get rid of the food tax by April 2013.

It’s the most regressive tax on the poor.  We have been pressing for this repeal since the inception of this tax and have lost several votes to do so – that last one by a single vote.

I’m looking forward to helping the mayor fulfill his campaign commitment. I’m looking forward to seeing this item on a City Council agenda soon enough to have it repealed by April 2013. I and Councilman Jim Waring have asked the mayor to instruct staff to put together the plan that accomplishes the repeal without affecting public safety and call for the vote.

This means voting on it by April for a repeal to take effect in April. It doesn’t mean sending it to voters to repeal, which couldn’t happen until August at the earliest – and still would probably take effect much later.  The commitment was the repeal by April 2013.

We will be talking about this in the neighborhoods and throughout Phoenix from now until this gets rescinded.  And I’m looking forward to seeing a plan soon that eliminates the food tax without hurting public safety, as was originally promised.

I’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time, and I’m excited about the prospect of fulfilling that commitment and ending this unfair tax. We have enough time to prepare for its elimination.

 

Excerpts from Mayoral Candidate Stanton on food tax:

“The food tax needs to be repealed as soon as possible. If I was able to vote last week, I would have supported a repeal of the food tax two years early…We can do this as soon as April 2013 and save taxpayers $100 million while also protecting key city services.”

— Greg Stanton, ABC 15, 6 Nov. 2011

I support ending the food tax, and was the first candidate to give a deadline by when to do so.”

— Greg Stanton, AZ Republic, 3 Oct. 2011

 

“I join her [Councilwoman Williams] in advocating for a tax that will expire in April 2013, saving taxpayers $100 million.”

Greg Stanton, Ahwatukee Foothills News, 17 Sept. 2011

 

Gullett has called for the immediate repeal of the food tax, approved by the City Council last year, while Stanton says that it should remain in place until 2013, two years before it is currently set to expire… 

Stanton, a former councilman, also believes that the food tax should be repealed, but in 2013. That’s two years before it is set to expire, saving taxpayers $100 million.

Phoenix New Times, 15 Sept. 2011

 

To: Greg Stanton, Mayor

Date: January 9, 2013

From: Sal DiCiccio, Councilman, Council District 6 and Jim Waring, Councilman, Council District 2

Subject: FOOD TAX REPEAL

 

In your campaign for mayor, you promised voters that you would work to repeal the city’s food tax by April, 2013. We join you in that commitment.

Several Council members have joined you in calling for repeal. We look forward to seeing both the plan for fulfilling your campaign pledge and to seeing the repeal scheduled for a vote before the Phoenix City Council.

According to your comments in an Ahwatukee Foothills News article dated September 17, 2011(see attached) the repeal would take effect by April.

Before you were elected mayor, the food tax repeal lost by a single vote. At the time, you stated in an ABC15 interview that if you had been on the council you would have voted for repeal(see attached).  Now, with your support, we should have the votes to repeal a tax passed with barely 24 hours notice. Since imposing that tax, Phoenix has made great strides with a much improved financial position, zero-based budgeting, more transparent meetings and effective innovations and efficiencies.  Now is the time to eliminate the food tax.

Between now and April, we will be talking about the food tax in our neighborhoods. We are looking forward to seeing a plan that eliminates the food tax without affecting public safety, as promised. We ask that you schedule this for a vote, as promised, as soon as possible.

Thank you.

Councilman Sal DiCiccio, District 6

Councilman Jim Waring, District 2

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