The Tucson City Council will hold a public hearing Tuesday to allow residents to comment on a proposal to raise the city sales tax by a half a percent.
The tax is 2 percent, and the council is considering asking voters in May to approve a half-cent increase, bringing the total city portion of the sales tax to 2.5 percent.
City Manager Michael Ortega suggested the tax as a way to balance the city's budget, which has seen a deficit for many years in a row, requiring cuts or other ideas to raise more money.
An extra half-cent tax on every dollar spent on taxable items in Tucson would bring in about $50 million a year, according to Ortega's estimates.
The city council discussion is about a five-year plan for spending $250 million. The proposal is to spend about $100 million to catch up on road repair, fixing major streets and neighborhood roads. The other $150 million would be spent on public safety equipment, such as police cars.
The council meeting starts at 5:30 p.m., and the hearing is among other items slated for public comment Tuesday night.
The council will hold another hearing Dec. 6 and could make a final decision that night on whether to send the proposal to voters next May.