The Phoenix City Council voted on Wednesday to begin phasing out a portion of the city’s food tax on Jan. 1, 2014.

The vote will eliminate half of the tax, 1 percent, in January and the other half would go away, as planned, in 2015.

The council has been gridlocked over whether to repeal the food tax early for months since City Councilman Sal DiCiccio has been outspoken about the need to get rid of the food tax. In a meeting with Councilwoman Thelda Williams and Councilman Michael Nowakowski they were able to reach a compromise.

The group has decided to ask City Manager David Cavazos to find $12 million in efficiencies to make up for the lost revenue of the tax, without cutting city services or any public safety. Cavazos must present his plan to the City Council by Oct. 1.

Council members argued about the motion for nearly two hours Wednesday. Many agreed the real discussion will take place once Cavazos has identified where the $12 million will have to come from.

“They did all they could to try and confuse the vote — to make sure nobody could follow through on the pledge to repeal the tax,” DiCiccio said in a statement. “Politicians use these tactics so they can be for the tax and at the same time be opposed to it — real lack of leadership.”

Still, DiCiccio called this vote a small victory for taxpayers.

The city’s 2013-14 budget calls for an increase of some city services. City staff and council members have been taking part in public meetings across the city, explaining the budget and the need for the food tax to remain until 2015.

The council is expected to vote on the 2013-14 budget on May 21. For more information, visit phoenix.gov/budget.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

(1) comment

craigbgriffin
craigbgriffin

I grew up in Birmingham Alabama. their sales tax on everything food, medicine etc. is about ten cents on the dollar. The county there Jefferson County is bankrupt and most of the leaders there have been sent to Federal Prison for their part in bankrupting the county. when I got to Phoenix I really liked it. The busses ran late. things worked well together. Taxes were low. Now sales taxes and bus fares are climbing, bus service and trains service is being cut, library and park hours are being cut back while retail businesses are failing because workers and shoppers can not get to the businesses to work and to buy. this comes while the Mayor give his buddies large lay raises and while the city cuts property taxes and while more and more people have less and less to eat. Personally I am tired of these so called conservatives who wrap themselves in the flag and in religion continue to take more and more for themselves at the expense of all of the rest of us. I like Phoenix. I do not like rich crooks in office.

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