Last week, the Phoenix City Council released a study stating that Phoenix needs to hire 138 more firefighters. They based this off of a 1:1,000 ratio, which is common to calculate staffing needs. However, this would come with a cost.
To hire 138 new firefighters, the city would need to spend approximately $30 million — and this money would come from two potential sources, or a combination of the two: an increase in local sales tax or a reinstatement of the food tax.
The study finds that for every 0.1 percent increase in local sales taxes, Phoenix could generate $29 million. The food tax was eliminated in 2015, but reinstating a 1.0 percent food sales tax could bring in $26 million, according to the study.
These options will be discussed at a future Phoenix City Council meeting. Stay tuned for updates.