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Glendale business owners want tax raises to go to vote

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Glendale businesses are stepping up their fight against the sales tax increase approved this week by the Glendale City Council.

Opponents of the seven-tenths of one percent tax hike said they will announce on Tuesday a campaign to put it to a public vote. The Glendale Chamber of Commerce is against the tax.

"If the tax is enacted as proposed, it would have, in our opinion, a negative impact on business in Glendale and trying to get businesses to locate here," said Chamber President Don Rinehart.

If a tax increase is necessary, Rinehart wants the city to take a two-tiered approach, which would eliminate the higher tax on big ticket items.

"Single item sales of $5,000 or more would be taxed at the existing sales tax rate that's currently in place," said Rinehart. "Anything else underneath that would be taxed at the new rate."

Rinehart said the city is still looking at the two-tiered system.

Supporters of the tax increase said Glendale needs it to generate more than $20 million in new revenues in the next fiscal year. Glendale would still need to raise the tax even without the 20-year, $324-million dollar deal with potential new Phoenix Coyotes owner Greg Jamison to manage arena.

Tax opponents need to collect at least 1,800 valid petition signatures by July 5th to have the measure put on the November ballot.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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