Maricopa County attorney Bill Montgomery filed a brief last week in support of an effort to force a November referendum on Glendale’s 0.7% sales tax increase.

An Arizona state judge ruled in July that the petitions seeking the referendum on the tax hike — which was approved by Glendale’s City Council — were invalid.

Save Glendale Now, a political action committee that is opposing the tax increase, has appealed the lower court’s decision.

The case will be heard Aug. 23 by the state Court of Appeals.

In the brief filed with the court on Aug. 15, Montgomery said the city clerk did not have the authority to reject the tax opponents’ petitions.

The clerk said the abstract of the proposal that topped the petitions was inaccurate.

“The court should reverse the trial court’s judgment and make clear that a filing officer does not have the discretion to make judgments about the accuracy of the 100-word description of an initiative measure,” Montgomery said in the legal brief.

Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett and Attorney General Tom Horne filed similar pleadings seeking a reversal with the appeals court.

The higher tax was approved by the City Council in June as part of Glendale’s efforts to keep the National Hockey League Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena.

If the team leaves, Glendale officials said, the facility built with $180 million of the city’s revenue bonds might have to close.

Revenue from the tax will support a 20-year, $324 million lease on the stadium.

The sales tax increase went into effect Aug. 1.

Save Glendale Now filed a special action Aug. 13 to prevent the city from rejecting the signatures on the 4,138 petitions the group submitted to force the vote.

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