Supporters of a plan to overturn Glendale, Ariz,’s new 0.7% sales tax have appealed a court ruling that would keep the referendum off the November ballot.
Save Glendale Now last week filed a notice of appeal with the Arizona state appeals court after a Maricopa County Superior Court said the petition effort was misleading.
Judge Robert Oberbillig upheld the city clerk’s decision to reject the petitions.
Oberbillig said the anti-tax group had complied with state law on initiative petitions, but supported the city’s contention that the 4,138 petitions submitted were misleading.
The higher tax was approved by the City Council in June as part of the city’s efforts to keep the Phoenix Coyotes of the National Hockey League at Jobing.com Arena. If the team left, Glendale officials said, the facility, built with $180 million of the city’s revenue bonds, might close.
Glendale will use most of the $20 million of annual revenues from the higher tax to make a $17 million payment to the Coyotes’ proposed new owner.
Dave Kimmerle, a car dealer in Glendale who led the petition drive, said the ruling was ill-considered.
“I do not believe that the Legislature ever contemplated that an unelected official like the city clerk could disenfranchise citizens from exercising their constitutional rights,” he said. “We are unaware that any initiative in Arizona has ever been thrown out because of the petition summary and look forward to a review by the Supreme Court.”