The Mayor and Tucson City Council voted yesterday to hire an outside pollster to survey Tucson residents about whether they would support a half-cent city sales tax increase. Mayor Jonathan Rothschild said the poll would cost $10,000-$20,000, but he said outside groups may be willing to pay the costs.
A half-cent sales tax increase would bring in about $50 million a year, but it must be approved by voters. The tax hike would bring the city rate to 2.5 percent, matching Oro Valley and Marana.
Tucson faces a $40 million deficit during the next fiscal year, and City Manager Michael Ortega recently introduced several proposals to bring a structural balance to the City's operational spending plan over the next two fiscal years. In addition to spending cuts, a sales tax increase was among the items proposed.