Healthy cherry tomato, herbs fruit and vegetables

Healthy groceries, oregano, melon, bread, cherry tomatoes isolated on white

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The city is asking for public input as staff moves forward with a plan to reduce the emergency food tax by one half a year early.

City staff members are trying to find a way to reduce the tax early without affecting city services, public safety, or the city’s AAA bond rating. The next public meeting will be on Monday, Sept. 16 at South Mountain Community College library, 7050 S. 24th St., at 5:30 p.m.

After the Monday meeting the city manager will present the proposed solutions and public comments to the City Council at its policy meeting set for Sept. 24. Five additional community hearings will be conducted following that meeting and in October the City Council will have a final vote on whether to adopt a resolution to reduce the sale tax, effective Jan. 1, 2014.

The proposals to reduce costs and cut the food tax down to 1 percent can be viewed online at phoenix.gov/budget/foodtax. The city is proposing refinancing transit debt, torts in primary property tax, conducting an organizational review of city operations, finding banking efficiencies, and selling excess properties.

The tax will expire completely in March of 2015. It was started in 2010 to address a $277 million deficit in Phoenix. Several City Council members asked city staff to find a way to reduce the tax earlier, fearing that cutting it completely at once would cause problems for the city.

Questions on the proposal can be submitted to budget.research@phoenix.gov, or by calling (602) 262-4800.

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

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