City Hall

Save a Cop, Buy a Steak; City of Phoenix Approves Food Tax

The Phoenix City Council approved a new tax yesterday that will increase the price of the most basic necessity: food.

In a 6-3 vote, the council approved a 2 percent tax on basic grocery items like milk, meat, vegetables, and all the other basics that people need to live.

The move is a city-approved money-grab designed to help save the jobs of more than 1,300 municipal employees, including about 500 police officers.

At the moment, the city is about $240 million in the hole and the food tax is expected to help bridge that gap.


Over the next two years, the food tax is expected to raise about $62 million.The money also is expected to be used to save the jobs of firefighters.

The tax is designed to expire after five years, but Mayor Phil Gordon says the council can reverse the decision after hearing from the public during 15 budget hearings scheduled over the next month.

For any Phoenix residents willing to make the drive and really stick it to the man, Mesa and Surprise are the only two Valley cities that don't have a sales tax on food. So if you have six kids and are spending a small fortune every month just to feed them, it may be worth the trip.

The new tax is set to go into effect on April 1.

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James King
Contact: James King