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Increasing Phoenix firefighter staff could lead to more taxes, new study shows

Posted at 8:31 PM, Feb 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-20 07:40:57-05

More firefighters could mean more taxes for Phoenix residents. 

According to a new study from the City Council released last week, the City needs to hire 138 more firefighters to get to a 1:1000 ratio, a common calculation that's used by other departments to calculate staffing. 

The new additions would cost Phoenix an estimated $30 million, and the money would most likely come from one of two sources, or a combination of both, according to the report. 

First, the city could increase its local sales tax. 

The city says for every 0.1-percent increase; it could generate about $29 million. 

Second, it could reinstate the food tax, which went away back in 2015. A 1.0-percent food sales tax could generate around $26 million for the city, according to the report. 

"I think it would be worth it," explained Manuel Silvas, who saw a home on fire in his South Phoenix neighborhood Monday morning. "They're like the most unsung heroes. I think they're the biggest heroes." 

But not everyone agrees with the tax increase, saying they believe we already have enough on the force. 

ABC15 checked and did not see this up for discussion on the Wednesday agenda. Count on us to let you know what the next steps will be.