PHOENIX - If you live in Phoenix, you may soon get a break on your grocery bill, as officials are calling for an end to the city's controversial "food tax".
The tax was put in place last year, taxing many grocery items 2 percent in an effort to shore up the city's budget shortfall. Some Phoenix Council members are now calling to repeal the tax.
"We have a strong city government, we can find alternative funding," said Councilwoman Thelda Williams.
The food tax is supposed to run through 2015, and not all council members agree on whether or not it is a good idea to end the tax. Phoenix Councilman Tom Simplot said he prefers to look at all available avenues before making a decision.
"Before we rush into cutting taxes, we need to know if it's going to impact the budget and if we're going to see a bigger deficit," Simplot said.
The tax generates about $50 million annually for the Phoenix budget. If it is repealed, Williams wants to look at pay cuts or streamlining the government to make up the lost funds. Simplot suggested looking at "sin" taxes, a tax on items such as visits to strip clubs, alcohol and tattoos.
"We're...small business owners, and in a struggling economy, to keep taxing...small business owners, I think is a bad idea," said Apryl Jenkins, who runs 27 Tattoo Studio in Phoenix.
Jenkins said she feels the tattoo industry, and potentially others, is being discriminated against and hopes the "sin" tax never comes to fruition.
"We are something people don't need, but we are also something people enjoy," Jenkins said.
The Phoenix City Council needs five votes in order to end the food tax, and it could be brought up for a vote in the next several weeks.
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