Arizona is currently undergoing a severe budget shortfall of over $3 billion dollars. Governor Jan Brewer signed state budget bills passed by the Legislature and vetoed others last Thursday and Friday. However, the work remains to close the gap between spending and revenue. On Thursday she signed the portion of the state budget that includes a provision to sell public properties in the hope of raising revenue fast. The measure attempts to raise $735 million by selling and then leasing the property back over the course of 20 years. State properties that are potentially up for sale are the Senate and House buildings, The State Hospital, and the rights to operate some of its prisons.

Although not ideal, ATR supports this provision as an alternative to raising taxes in an effort to raise state revenue quickly.

Then, on Friday Gov. Brewer signed more portions of the state budget bills, however incredibly she vetoed a permanent repeal of a $250 million property tax on businesses and residents; a tax that was temporarily repealed in 2005 and is slated to return without legislative action. Brewer had once been in favor of permanently getting rid of the property tax. Why the change of mind? It seems as though she is punishing members of the Legislature who thwarted her attempts to increase the sales tax through public referendum: a tax that would cost Arizonans $3 billion. 

To see Gov. Brewers current action on the state’s budget, click here