For shoppers, Phoenix food tax barely registers - East Valley Tribune: Business

For shoppers, Phoenix food tax barely registers

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Posted: Monday, June 7, 2010 4:37 pm

Phoenix's new food tax took effect two months ago, but some shoppers say they either didn't realize it or they haven't noticed a big impact on their shopping bills.

"I feel like it's pennies in the pot," said Alethea Thompson, of Peoria, who was shopping at a Fry's Food Store in west Phoenix.

The 2-cents-per-dollar food tax is on milk, meat, vegetables and other food purchased within Phoenix city limits. Food purchased with food stamps is not taxed.

For retail items, shoppers now pay 9.3 percent sales tax. Voters recently approved a 1 percent temporary sales tax that increased the state sales tax to 6.6 percent, which took effect last week.

Bev Brewer, a retired teacher and another Fry's shopper, said the food tax would affect seniors the most "because they are on fixed incomes."

The city has estimated that it will generate an estimated $12.5 million for the fiscal year that ends June 30. It will raise another $50 million for the fiscal 2011 year.

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