May 21, 2013
Caption: Councilman Sal DiCiccio
Today, Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio voted against the latest round of pay raises and bonuses brought on by the “food tax for pay raises scheme.”
Councilman DiCiccio motioned for the elimination of half of the food tax on July 1, 2013, and to use money from the pay raises and bonuses built into this budget to prevent cuts in services. If any additional monies are needed, staff is instructed to take money from the $2.9 million public relations budget, $1.3 million lobbying budget, the approximately $1.8 million in membership dues Phoenix pays, and by eliminating pension spiking.
The motion failed 6 to 2.
“Since the ‘emergency food tax’ was put into place, over $106 million has been given out in pay raises and bonuses. This new round of raises and bonuses will put this number at $137 million,” said Councilman DiCiccio. “It is outrageous to continue to tax food to give millions in bonuses and raises. That is why I voted no. That is why I will continue to fight to end the food tax.”
City of Phoenix staff has stated that if it were not for these pay raises in the budget, the city could have hired over 350 new police officers, restored all after-school programs, restored senior programs or reinstated library hours.
Since the food tax was enacted, over $145 million has been collected by the City of Phoenix, almost the exact amount of raises and bonuses given out.