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How much would City Council's proposed tax hike actually cost you?

Posted at 10:49 AM, Nov 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-22 19:42:17-05
City Council is asking for your comments Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. on a 0.5% sales tax increase for the May 2017 ballot. It would bring the tax rate from 8.1% to 8.6%. 
 
Wondering how this will affect your budget? Here's what that would look like for some of your yearly purchases:
 
Gas:
If you spend an average of $30 to fill up your tank, you'll only pay 15 cents more. Currently, you pay 2.43...and you'd pay 2.58 with the increase.
 
Buying a car:
If you're buying a car, averaging around $20,000, it will cost you an average of $100 more than it does now. The tax would go from $1,620 to $1,720.
 
Holiday shopping:
Lastly, Americans spend an average of $830 on gifts each holiday season, so if this increase is approved, you will go from paying around $67 this year to about $71 next year.
 
Where will the money go?
The city estimates the proposed tax would raise about $50 million a year. $30 million would go towards Tucson police and fire. The Police Department would use the funding for new patrol cars, motorcycles, new dash cams, new weapons, and upgrades to the stations.
 
For the fire department, this means upgrades to the fire alerts systems, better equipment for paramedics, and upgrades to fire station technology. 
 
City Council has also made a list of the top roads in Tucson to be repaired. The city would allocate $20M in tax revenue for fixing the roads. 
 
Sunset Clause:
City Council is also asking for public input on whether or not the sales tax would be in place for five years, ten years, or permanent. 
 
City Council is holding another public comment on this December 6th. If this goes forward, you'll formally vote on the tax in May.