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Phoenix City Council Votes To End Food Tax, Eventually

The food tax in the city of Phoenix is going away, although not right away. The city council has approved a plan to reduce the current 2 percent food tax to 1 percent on Jan. 1 of next year and then phased out completely April 1, 2015.

Councilman Michael Nowakowski said the city was facing a huge deficit in 2010 when the tax was approved.

"Back then we were about $270 million in the hole, and basically we’ve gotten out of that, and what’s fair to do actually is to turn it around for those taxpayers that are out there," Nowaskowski said. "So I really want to thank our staff for pulling us out of that hole, those taxpayers who supported the food tax."

City planners say they will make up the $33 million generated from the tax by selling off some excess city property, staff reorganization and refinancing more than $19 million in city bonds.

KJZZ’s News Director Al Macias is part of an elite class of trusted, veteran journalists who have covered Arizona news for more than 30 years.Macias helps oversee daily operations for the KJZZ newsroom and Fronteras: the Changing America Desk. This is second nature for Macias, who is a National Association of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle Society member and an inductee of the Society of Professional Journalists Order of the Silver Key Society.Macias began serving the KJZZ news team in October 2010, helping the station launch Fronteras: The Changing America Desk as the project's managing editor. He became the news director in January 2015. Macias, who has an extensive television background, is helping Fronteras Desk reporters disseminate reports using a multimedia platform that includes radio, web, video and social media tools to engage listeners across the globe.He also is no stranger to building a news team from the ground up. Macias was part of the management team that launched the KNXV newsroom in 1994 and oversaw its growth from a staff of twenty to more than sixty in less than a year. Additionally, he served in managerial roles at KPNX from 1981-1994 and as an assignment editor and manager for KTVK.During his television career, Macias won two Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards for spot news coverage and public service programming.Macias takes great pride in his public service work, as well. He is a founding board member of the Arizona Latino Media Association and is part of the Raul H. Castro Institute Advisory Committee. In addition, he served Maricopa County’s communications department and spent time as a Partnership Specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau.A Phoenix native, Macias earned a journalism degree from Arizona State University. He has been married since 1978 and has two adult daughters.