A group of Valley libertarians took its first step Friday to repeal the food tax adopted this week by the Phoenix City Council.
Don’t Tax Our Food filed paperwork with the City Clerk’s Office to begin fundraising and collecting signatures to put a ballot measure before voters that would overturn the 2 percent sales tax on milk, eggs and other grocery items.
The group, led by Maricopa County Libertarian Party Chairman James Iannuzo, has less than 30 days to collect 9,798 signatures from registered Phoenix voters. If the group succeeds, the council will have an opportunity to reconsider its vote.
If the vote is upheld, Don’t Tax Our Food can put the referendum before voters during the next scheduled election in August 2011. The council also would have the option of calling a special election as early as this August.
The tax would raise an extra $62.5 million over a 15-month period beginning April 1.
That would help ease $140 million in proposed budget cuts to police, fire and other city services.
Opponents, however, said families cannot cope with higher taxes in the current economy.
“While we appreciate the service the city workers do for us, this is the wrong way to secure city workers’ jobs,” said Warren Severin, vice chairman of the county’s Libertarian Party.
“It hits the people who can least afford it the hardest.”