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Tucson police, fire could see layoffs after sales tax defeat

In the wake of a failed effort to raise Tucson's sales tax, city officials say they may have to lay off up to 400 workers.

The sales tax increase would have raised about $40 million a year. It failed by a nearly two-thirds vote.

The Arizona Daily Star reports:

Tucson City Manager Mike Letcher said the preliminary list of layoffs/job cuts include 100 police officers, 90 firefighters, 161 workers in parks and recreation and between 70 and 73 in all other departments that are not considered "core" services. Police, fire, roads, transit and parks and recreation are considered core services.

The City Council will discuss where the cuts will be made at its Jan. 5 meeting. 

Fire and police services must be maintained, said local businessman Shaun McClusky. Fox11az.com reports:

The man who led the movement against prop 400 sat in on the city's press conference Wednesday. Shaun McLusky had one message for city officials.

"Cut one police officer, cut one firefighter there will be a recall," said McLusky.

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Mayor Bob Walkup said the with the city's budget woes, recent belt-tightening has already reduced staffing.

"Right now we're down some 700 people in our organization," reports KVOA. "We're operating at a 1998 employment level within the city."

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