Hobbs sides with cities, vetoes grocery tax ban

By HOWARD FISCHER || Capitol Media Services 

Gov. Katie Hobbs is going to veto legislation to block cities and towns from taxing groceries.

Press aide Murphy Hebert confirmed late Friday that her boss finds the legislation sent to her earlier this week unacceptable. And that means that, at least for the time being, the communities that do impose the levy — and that’s a majority of them — need not fear the loss of revenues.

But it also means the local taxes, which collectively raise more than $161 million a year from shoppers, will remain in place, at least for the time being.

Hobbs said Friday that the leaders of the cities and towns that do impose the levy — not all of them do — are “very concerned about the impact on their resources, particularly for public safety, particularly in rural communities.’’

She also noted that not a single Democrat in the House or Senate voted for the measure, though several did express concern that the tax is hurting their constituents.

“I think we’re really looking for bipartisan solutions and one that comprehensively addresses the issues,’’ the governor said.

Hobbs also said she does not want to deal with issues of taxes on a piece-meal basis.

“Arizonans need comprehensive solutions for affordability,’’ she said.

And there’s something else.

The governor noted that, even if she were to sign the legislation on her desk, it would not take effect until Jul 1, 2025.

“These are people who need relief now,’’ she said.


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March 2023