A lawsuit filed by a group seeking an election to overturn Glendale, Ariz.’s recent sales tax increase will be heard Aug. 14 in Maricopa County Superior Court.
The suit was filed last week after the city rejected petitions seeking an initiative election on Nov. 6 on the 0.7% tax hike. The group of businessmen said the city clerk did not have the authority to reject the petitions.
City officials said the petitions circulated by Save Glendale Now were flawed and misleading. The city contends that the petitions were filed four days past the deadline for putting the initiative on the November ballot. Opponents submitted petitions with 4,138 signatures, far more than the 1,862 required.
The Glendale City Council approved the tax hike in June to help close a projected $35 million budget gap and to avoid cutting city services.
The city plans to use the tax revenue to keep the Phoenix Coyotes of the National Hockey League at Jobing.com Arena. Without the team as a tenant, officials said, the facility built with $180 million of revenue bonds issued by Glendale could close.
Interim city manager Horatio Skeete said it is unclear if the city can make this year’s promised $17 million payment to the Coyotes’ proposed new owner without the tax increase.
The tax is expected to generate $20 million a year.
Opponents of the tax hike want voters to overturn the city’s $324 million lease agreement with the potential buyer of the hockey team.