by Jim Nintzel
The Tucson City Council got an earful tonight from residents who were unhappy with the idea of a tax on housing rental payments. They set up room at the TCC that only seated 500 people, so a couple hundred were left milling around after the fire marshals quit letting any more people into the hearing. Nice prep work! Funny how they always seem to have a room big enough for Mayor Bob Walkup's State of the City speech, no matter how many people show up. Priorities, priorities.
As you'd expect, most people were against the rental tax—or any other taxes, for that matter. Some suggested council members take a pay cut instead, but since they only earn $24K, that's not gonna do make much of a difference.
The evening got off to a great start with speaker Joe Sweeney, who didn't understand that he was addressing the rental tax prematurely during the general call to audience. That was OK with Joe—he went straight into a rant about illegal immigrants that somehow got linked to public housing. Sadly enough, the audience gave him a rousing round of applause.
The Star's Rob O'Dell was filing from the scene. We would have done the same, but we couldn't get WiFi signal.