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Tempe Sales Tax Increase Measure (May 2010)

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There was a Tempe Sales Tax Increase Measure on the May 18 ballot in Maricopa County for voters in the city of Tempe.

This measure was approved

  • YES 17,315 (66.48%)Approveda
  • NO 8,729 (33.52%)[1]

This measure sought to increase the city sales tax by .2 percent, which will make the combined sales tax of Tempe 8.3 percent. Originally this tax was to include food items and had no time limit, but the city council revised the measure to ensure that it would expire in four years and did not include food items as taxable items. This new tax percentage is estimated to be able to raise around $9 million a year which would help alleviate budget shortfalls that are estimated for the coming year. Although even with the proposed increase, Tempe council members stated that services may be cut and public facilities may end up closing. What will end up being cut though is still undecided.[2]

The Tempe mayor Hallman came out to say that he would not give his position on the issue, stating that the decision was up to residents and not for him to decide on. Hallman did vote to put the tax on the May ballot, supporters note. The city chamber of commerce and the police and fire unions support this tax increase.[3] The city council saw it as the best means to close the budget gap, believing that a property tax increase would incite resident backlash, even though a raise of 2 percent annually is allowed by law.[4]