Mesa probing bogus text that lies about ballot question

East Valley Tribune

 

By Jim Walsh | East Valley Tribune

City of Mesa tax increase inaccurate text message

The Mesa City Clerk’s office is investigating a slick – but bogus – attempt to use inaccurate information to steer the outcome of the upcoming home rule election through a text message using a “calculated misrepresentation’’ to mislead voters.

The text message mistakenly said that if voters select yes on Question 1, utility rates would be hiked by $47 per citizen. The message was signed cryptically, “Democrats for Mayor John Giles.’’

“We’ve been hearing stories about people using deception in the Russian investigation to influence elections. Here, we have an example in our own hometown,’’ Giles said. “It isn’t a tax, it isn’t an increase, it has nothing to do with utilities.’’

Giles said home rule merely allows the city to determine its own budget, using funds authorized by voters, and has no direct connection to utility rates or to taxes. Otherwise, the city would be tied to an outdated formula based on the 1979-1980 budget, forcing $200 million in cuts to the $450 million city budget.

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