Mesa will vote on tax hike for police and fire

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Mesa voters will decide if they want to raise taxes this fall to hire more police and fire.

City leaders estimate the quarter-cent sales tax increase will raise $25 million annually.

If passed, 60 percent of the revenue will go to police with the remaining 40 percent going to the fire department.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona politics]

Mayor John Giles says he plans to use the new money to hire 50 firefighters and 72 police officers over the next four or five years.

However, that would still leave the police department shorthanded.

In 2006, the department had 130 more officers than it does today, said Nate Gafvert, president of the Mesa Police Association.

Mesa has one of the lowest sales tax rates for any major city in Maricopa Country.

The quarter-cent increase brings the city's sales tax rate to full two pennies, which would still be lower than Phoenix and Glendale.

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Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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