Editor:

With the rising cost of groceries, we need to take another look at our town’s grocery tax. It was promised to be put on the council’s agenda this year after a year to assess our town’s financial position. The town’s budget is in a good fiscal position now and we still have not brought it up for discussion.

The council has found time to bring up the Propositions 401/402 constitutionality. They also found time to put me on the agenda twice to remove me from the parks rec board and to do a study on volunteer board commissioners on committees.

Please, council, find the time to put the grocery tax on the agenda and study it.

Thank you. If you feel the same, email your council members and let them know.

Dave Golembewski

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(6) comments

Jeff Robbins

https://www.paysonaz.gov/Council/agendas/2019/03-14-19-A/J2SalesTaxMemo.pdf

discussed and answered

Jeff Robbins

Food Tax-

Mar 12, 2019 Removing the food tax was brought before the Payson Town Council It was a 7-0 vote to keep it.

80 percent of the cities in towns in Arizona do impose the tax, according to a survey by the Arizona League of Cities and Towns.

The repeal would cost Payson $1.8 million annually. The repeal would eliminate about two-thirds of the gains made when Payson two years ago boosted the sales tax by .88 percent.

The town has in the past two years devoted the $3 million from that sales tax increase to the police and fire retirement fund, pay raises, repayment of a loan from the water department, bolstering the wafer-thin reserves and resuming street maintenance. The tax on food makes up about 15 percent of the town’s sales tax revenue.

To pay for a $1.8 million reduction Payson would have to eliminate:

The Parks and Rec budget as well as: Tourism (marketing) $80,000Town Council $120,002Town Manager Department $227,000Town Clerk Department $250,000

Councilor Jim Ferris said he now supports the food tax. “We have to realize that many who live outside of Payson pay that tax as well as our Payson citizens. Why should so many that can easily afford the tax be relieved of paying the tax? It would be better for the town to have and use the $1.8 million to advance commercial development so that struggling families have more opportunity to earn higher incomes and be self-sufficient,” he wrote

The town received a onetime 1.8mil socialistic covid handout which the town council wisely banked to fix needed road repairs and adopt a more aggressive retirement fund pay down. 2036 might be a good time to discuss this. Not before. It makes no financial sense currently.

https://www.paysonaz.gov/E-Gov/Administrative-Policies/704-PSPRS-Pension-Funding-Policy-2021.pdf

Phil Mason

Once again, you are out of touch and out of date. Your assertions are plain wrong. There are a plethora of options for government other than your simplistic binary choice. You could think of alternatives, but then that would be outside your skill set.

Phil Mason

Dave, you are over the target. The grocery tax is the most regressive tax and the impact on our seniors should be a concern for the Council. Lives are actually being impacted by this onerous unnecessary tax.

The town is overstaffed by more than 50% over the average staffing of like towns across Arizona - and they are adding more as if they are controlled by Nancy Pelosi and the AOC squad.

James Seay

Payson has the bumpiest roads in Arizona, especially Phoenix St over elk ridge. Something need to be done.

Phil Mason

They should spend some of the millions they are acquiring in new revenues from the Wayfair lawsuit to fix the roads. Also, the first installment should be to revoke the $75k they are spending to have an outside consultant tell us the problems.

The residents of Payson are totally competent to let the Council know where potholes and other problems exist.

Welcome to the discussion.

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