1. Glendale voters uphold tax hike in Coyotes’ home city

    Large margins of Glendale voters rejected a ballot measure that aims to undo a recent city sales-tax hike.

    Nearly two-thirds of voters said “no” to Proposition 457 with 97% of precincts reporting.

    Proposition 457 aimed to give voters a say on the city’s hard-pressed finances. The citizens initiative aimed to undo the 0.7 percentage-point increase and require future sales-tax hikes to go to voters for approval.

    But some city leaders cautioned the tax hike’s repeal would decimate city services to residents. The city’s worst-case scenario projected the need to cut a quarter of its staff, reducing emergency response times, hurting libraries and other services if the tax was repealed.

    The council has been divided on the issue. Mayor Elaine Scruggs, Councilwoman Norma Alvarez and former Councilman Phil Lieberman, who resigned last month, question the need for the hike when the city at the same time has justified spending upward of $300 million to retain the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team at its city-owned arena.

    A council majority blame the economy for the financial situation and say keeping the Coyotes is in the long-term interest of the city.

    The City Council had approved the hike, which took effect in August, to help shore up a $35 million shortfall in the operating budget. City staff estimated that the increase would bring in as much as $25 million a year through 2017, when it would sunset.

    A group of residents and business leaders gathered signatures to place Prop. 457 on Tuesday’s ballot.

    Both campaigns spent thousands of dollars and posted signs throughout the city.

    Proponents blamed Glendale leaders for not being careful with taxpayer money, saying the city’s tight finances go beyond the recession. Worse, they said, the added tax drives people to shop in neighboring cities, worsening the city’s bottom line.

    Prop. 457 supporter Rod Williams said despite the loss, he was glad that the residents got a say on the issue.

    "We certainly lost, but the main thing is we wanted people to be able to vote," Williams said.

    Previous post on How Did the Coyotes Financial Mess Happen? As ABC15 mentions, Glendale hopes 2015 Super Bowl XLIX won’t be as costly as it was in 2008 Super Bowl XLII. You would think they would have that all straighten out. Goes to show that Phoenix should have never lost the bids to these two franchises to a suburban town but this has been a trend that has continued on. Feel bad for Glendale residents.

    (Source: USA Today)