If Arizonans are clamoring to get rid of the food tax, where are they?

Opinion: A push is on at the Legislature to eliminate the city food tax in Arizona. Unfortunately, there is no push on by our leaders to consider what that will ultimately cost us.|| Getty Images

By Laurie Roberts || TheArizona Republic

Food tax rates across the state vary from 1.5% to 4%.

House Republicans, those steadfast champions of Arizona’s poor and downtrodden, are embracing their inner Kari Lake and pushing forth with a plan to eliminate the city sales tax on groceries.

“This, to me, is a no brainer,” the bill’s sponsor, House Majority Leader Leo Biasiucci, R-Lake Havasu City, told the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday. “This is something that is going to help every single Arizonan in the state.”

Actually, it won’t, because 3.2 million Arizonans – that’s 44% of the state’s residents – live in cities and towns that, like the state, already don’t tax food.

Still it is, we are told, all about helping struggling Arizonans.

“Inflation is through the roof right now,” Biasiucci said. “Families are suffering, especially when you look at the aspect of low-income families who, for the most part, have to go to the grocery to buy their food.”

Actually, Arizona’s poorest residents – the ones who get state and federal assistance to help buy their groceries – already are exempt from paying the food tax.

No one showed up to support the bill

And yet the hue and cry for this tax cut among average Arizonans was so great that …

… Not a single person showed up to support the bill.

“Is there anyone in the audience who wants to support the bill today?” asked Rep. Neal Carter, R-Queen Creek and chairman of the committee.

The silence was … informative.


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January 2023