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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Tucson officials reject rental tax

UA students and Tucsonans will not have to pay an additional rental tax after elections this fall.

The City of Tucson Core Tax and Permanent Override ReviewCommittee voted down a proposed 2 percent residential rental tax Thursday afternoon.

The tax was on track for suggestion to the mayor and City Council at the committee’s last meeting on Aug. 20, but the committee decided to reconsider the proposal.

While a rental tax isn’t directly applied to those who are renting but rather their landlords, the renters would still likely make up the 2 percent difference.

Around 30 concerned renters demonstrated their disapproval outside Tucson Fire Department headquarters, where the committee met before the meeting.

Huddled in rain, the renters brought signs voicing their dissent toward the rental tax.

“”We needed to make our point to the committee before they decided on the tax,”” said Barb Dolan, Arizona Multihousing Association government-affairs liaison.

Dolan presented on behalf of the AMA to the committee before they considered the final taxing suggestions.

The committee decided not to let the outcome of the fall vote on the Core Services Tax, Proposition 400, affect the vote on the rental tax.. The rental tax was proposed to help offset the Tucson City budget by raising $10 million.

Proposition 400 was proposed to raise $11 million dollars for the deficit. The council first voted to approve the rental tax even if Proposition 400 passed, but the motion was defeated.

On the second vote to pass the rental tax if Proposition 400 were to fail, the council stood firm and voted against it.

“”We would be essentially influencing the results of the election passing the core tax,”” said Committee Member John Kromko.

The other hot topic deliberated was proposed cuts and fare hikes for the Sun Tran. The city already enacted a fare increase in 2009 that resulted in a ridership loss.

The committee voted to not raise fares in order to increase revenue. They also decided against suggesting budget cuts for transit overall.

Also, the committee voted to suggest a sales tax on advertising to raise an additional $1 million.

The committee will finalize their suggestion on Monday at 3 p.m. at the Fire Central in downtown Tucson.

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