by Carly Moran
Arizona families could soon be saving money on their groceries.
An amended form of SB 1063, a bill eliminating municipal food taxes, passed in the Arizona Senate on Feb. 27 and has moved onto the House for discussion. The bill is sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Sonny Borelli, R-Lake Havasu.
The state eliminated the food sales tax in 1980 but did not prevent municipalities from continuing to institute a food tax. If the bill passes the House and Gov. Katie Hobbs signs it, food taxes will no longer be a reality across Arizona.
Even though the bill passed the Senate, it faced scrutiny along party lines. All 16 Senate Republicans voted in favor of the bill, while none of the Democratic senators did.
“In just one hour, we have eliminated $410 million in local revenue that impacts key services. … With that, I vote no,” State Sen. Catherine Miranda, D-Phoenix, said in a committee hearing.
State Senate President Warren Petersen, R-Gilbert, said Arizonans could save up to $100 per month without the tax, while Senate Democrats expressed concerns over how it could affect local budgets.
“This is another opportunity to help the low income. Anytime we can take a surplus and give it back to the residents of Arizona, I am in favor of it,” Borelli said.
Hobbs has expressed concerns about the potential budget shortfalls municipalities would see under the bill and its effect on public safety funding.
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Carly Moran is a contributor at The Center Square.
Photo “Sonny Borrelli” by Sonny Borrelli. Background Photo “Grocery Store” by Franki Chamaki.