Guest Editorial: Wisdom In Scottsdale With Revenue And The Coronavirus’ Economic Fallout

By Recker McDowell —

The Scottsdale City Council voted 4-3 today to keep the city’s food tax in place.

The 1.75-percent food tax brought in $13.5 million to the city last year and was projected to bring in $16 million this year.

With all that is going on with the Coronavirus and its devastating economic fallout, it is good for Scottsdale the majority of councilors opted to keep the revenue.

The city’s economy is taking a huge hit from the pandemic with tourism in a free fall, many restaurants, bars and shops temporarily closing or reducing hours in the midst of the anxiety over the virus. Workplaces are closed. Meetings and special events postponed or canceled. Cactus League baseball has been canceled. Jobs are being lost.

The COVID-19 outbreak’s economic anxiety is also going to impact tax bases and revenue streams. That will be especially true in Scottsdale where resorts, hotels, shops, bars, restaurants and galleries are significant tax revenue generators.

The strains on tax revenue streams are also poised to stress Scottsdale and other cities’ ability to provide essential services including public safety.

We are glad a wise majority of the Scottsdale Council opted to keep an existing and what could be a very important revenue stream as our community navigates uncharted and dangerous economic and public health waters.