Food Tax A Hot Topic In District 2 Forum

August 09, 2013

District 2 Phoenix City Council incumbent Jim Waring and challenger Virgel Cain debated each other in a KJZZ election forum Thursday night.

The candidates talked about the renewal of 32nd Street, the lack of light rail in their North Phoenix neighborhoods, and phasing out the 2 percent food tax.

Cain supports the food tax, which brings about $50 million a year to the city.

"I’m against cutting the tax, unless you can prove to me that it’s not going to stop us from hiring police and fire. We’ve got almost 400 vacant police officer positions in the city of Phoenix," Cain said.

Waring sees the food tax as a big payday.

"I can tell you a few things the food tax is used for though. $29 million dollars in pay raises this year. So if we put that on the ballot, are you willing to be taxed more, not for more services, not for more police officers, are you willing to be taxed to give $29 million dollars in raises to current employees? I respectfully submit that wouldn’t pass," Waring said.

 City council elections run through Aug. 27.

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