Arizona Voters Face Tax Increase in November

Washington, DC – Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) announces its opposition to Proposition 301 that will be on the ballot in Arizona this November.   If approved, it would mandate a 12% increase of the sales tax (from 5%-5.6%). 
This initiative was guided through the Legislature, by Gov. Jane Dee Hull (R).  The governor, fearing that she had little chance of passing it as through the Legislature (In Arizona 2/3rds vote of the Legislature is required), passed through as a ballot initiative requiring a simple majority of both houses.  Now the people of Arizona decide1
"The governor contends that education is the reason for the proposed tax increase.  The initiative, if passed, would raise an additional $438 million.  The problem is if Proposition 301 is passed first year expenditures are estimated at $532.15 million leaving a $94.5 million shortfall.  No funding source is stated so that leaves this $94.5 million to default to the general fund or another revenue source is going to have to be found," stated Damon Ansell, vice president of policy, ATR. 
The Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee estimates that this $94.5 million shortfall will be $888.9 million by 2011.  A lot more may be sacrificed to make up for this shortfall than just increased spending on education.  Looks like the taxman in Arizona will come calling for many others should this pass.  Raising taxes cannot, must not be the answer.  The legislature must be forced to find an alternative solution.
"The average taxpayer pays approximately 40% of his earnings in taxes.  For a typical family, taxes take more out of their budget than the cost of food, clothing and shelter.  Now taxpayers can decide if they are going to put up with high taxes or if they are going to make a choice and eliminate them.  By voting down Proposition 301 Arizona taxpayers send a signal to legislators, solve a funding problem without raising taxes!" remarked Kate Meerstein, state projects manager, ATR.