Graham Kettle (formerly of the now-defunct Budget Review Commission) sent this letter to our elected leaders recently:
Mayor and Council
It is good to see that in Phoenix there is a drive to repeal the food tax. I have been saying to the council in Scottsdale since 2006 that is exactly what we should be doing in Scottsdale. It is time that the Scottsdale council acted on this and repealed the tax in the coming months. This is a move that would be in the best interests of the citizens of the city and it can be done without cutting services either in volume or quality. The blueprint as to how to do this has already been given to you.
The food tax in Scottsdale has been used to support bloated headcounts and overpaid staff positions, just as it was used in Phoenix to give a pay rise in 2011. The $10m or so of revenue that would be lost can be covered either by 1) cutting costs (remember I have already indicated to you that the general fund expenses can be cut to $180m – from $208m – without cutting services) or b) new taxes along the same lines as Phoenix is contemplating.
The food tax is an iniquitous tax and should go. It can be done. Act in the best interests of the citizens for a change.