Mike Renzulli

More About: TAXES: Local

The Latest News on the Phoenix Grocery Tax

Well I must say that politics in Arizona (in this case Phoenix) will not get boring any time soon.
Especially when it comes to dealing with taxes.
I have some distrubing news that I got confirmation from Don't Tax Our Food Chairman Jim Iannuzo.
It seems the petitioners who are circulating the grocery tax petitions for the campaign pro-bono advised Jim Friday that they were approached by some people to collect signatures for a fake petition drive they were stating in support of the tax on groceries.
Jim called someone else who is helping him and got confirmation of this in which his sources allege the people behind it are the Phoenix police unions Political Action Committee.
If this is the case, the Phoenix PD PAC is obviously doing this to try to squelch opposition especially since anyone who signs up to circulate petitions for the fake petition drive will have to sign a contract of non-competition.
I do have my suspicions about his sources but have no reason to doubt Jim himself.
The city council and mayor pitched the grocery tax as a way to prevent layoffs in the Phoenix police and fire departments.
Yet this claim is fast becoming shown for the fraud that it is.
The city of Phoenix still spends money on services like libraries, parks, after school programs and the arts that are not only not essential, but things that are not the functions of government to undertake.
The Arizona Republic reported today that the city announced it would spend $6 million to buy an abandoned downtown Phoenix hotel to assist Arizona State University in it's downtown campus expansion.
Furthermore, it's a fact that the city council recently raised fees on numerous city-run services like swimming pool passes, garbage collection and parking meters. To make matters worse, voters approved a tiny hike in the city's sales tax in 2007. 
With the new spending, taxes and fee hikes above Phoenix should not be experiencing budget woes. If the city truly is in the red they would continue to cut spending and would halt undertaking spending projects like the ASU campus expansion.
None the less, as I am sure many of you may know, politics is dirty and, if Jim's sources are accurate (which I am sure they are), the city and it's employees are obviously desperate to halt the effort to stop a grocery tax because if it goes to the ballot, they will loose.
I was at China Village Restaurant for my Objectivist club meeting Thursday in which I got more signatures. Not just from the employees, but also some customers who were eating there too!
I got one of my petitions filled in one shot and I will stop by there over the weekend to ask management if they will get signatues for us unless someone would like to take this up.
If you want to assist in this effort, please be at Sign-A-Rama on 33rd Street and Shea Tuesday, February 16th at 6:30pm in order to get petitions and meet fellow local activists to hook up and coordinate efforts with.
I went ahead and donated $50 to the campaign and ask each of you to donate too.
We are going to need paid petitioners and the ones collecting signatures will have their limit as to how long they will do this for free.
I would ask each of you to meet or beat my contribution or help out in some way. So far, the campaign has $200 in it's chest. If we don't raise enough money we may not make it.
If you can't give money, please consider helping to circulate petitions. We can't do this without your help.

4 Comments in Response to

Comment by Anonymous
Entered on:

 It's always the same exact argument all over the country that the local and property tax increase proponents make:

Unless the increase passes, the schools will shut down, the prison doors will open, ambulances will stop running and everyone is going to die.

That said, while battling the food tax is highly populist, it's miniscule  (less than 10%) in terms of tax savings as compared with the reform that would be achieved under property tax reform http://www.prop13arizona.com

Perhaps even less than 6%, as property taxes will be going up 25%-50% over the next 2 years.

Comment by Ducati Jeanne
Entered on:

Come down to the Burton Barr Library tonight, Tues, 2/16/2010 at 6 p.m. or sooner.  Some of us are gonna be there.  I need to come up with some hand-outs; leaflets.  I made two signs last night.

See you out front somewhere.

Comment by Mike Renzulli
Entered on:

 Very shameless on the part of the press. Including ABC 15. However, I hold out hope that ABC 15 will be one of the few media outlets that will break a story that will be a major blow to Phoenix's efforts when this is said and done.

I have seen them do it before with other cities and their politicians. The most recent I recall was their report on then Gilbert Mayor Steve Berman when an ABC 15 reporter uncovered something about him that caused Berman to resign or not run for re-election in disgrace.

Comment by Powell Gammill
Entered on:

What, you don't think hundreds of millions of dollars is not worth killing over?  The guys with the guns have no such doubts.   

If you doubt the dirty tricks, tonight on ABC Ch. 15 is the report that if the food tax doesn't survive who knows how long it will be until a patrol car arrives at your house after you call for help.  Shameless.


The good news, help (and defend yourself).

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