Appeals Court hears arguments on Glendale sales tax initiative

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Court of Appeals heard arguments Thursday and is considering whether an initiative that aims to reverse Glendale’s sales tax hike should appear on the November ballot.
A group called Save Glendale Now, made up of businesses and citizens, wants to ask voters in November to reverse the sales tax increase approved by the city of Glendale last June.
“All the other surrounding cities are significantly less in terms of sales tax so Glendale continues to lose business to neighboring cities like Peoria, Phoenix and Avondale,” said Connie Wilhelm, Treasurer of Save Glendale Now.
The sales tax increase of .7 percent is expected to bring in about $20 million this year. This will help the city cover $17 million in arena management fees owed to a likely Phoenix Coyotes buyer and also help the cash strapped city avoid severe cuts.
“City services are important to business as well, so there is balance there that needs to be hit and the elected officials considered that very carefully when they made that decision,” said Glendale City Attorney Craig Tindall.
Save Glendale Now disagrees and collected enough signatures for the initiative, but the city has since kicked it off the ballot.
Glendale argued the group used misleading language and that the measure would violate election law.
“It's no more a challenge to get an initiative on in the city of Glendale than any other place. We applied state law with respect to initiatives,” said Tindall.
Earlier this month, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge upheld the city's decision.

Of course now the initiative's future is in the hands the Arizona Court of Appeals and a decision is expected Friday.