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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.

Bob McClay, Reporter

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