Cheerful news to report out of Arizona:
Yesterday the Senate Appropriations Committee passed a budget FY 2010 that closes the state’s $3 billion deficit. Lawmakers closed the gap through privatization, spending cuts, asset sales, bonding, and fund sweeps.
Most importantly, the plan does not include any tax increases.
Arizonans thought they were entering an era of conservative executive leadership when Janet Napolitano left for DC and was replaced by Secretary of State Jan Brewer. However, shortly after taking office, Gov. Brewer proposed an 18%, billion dollar per year, sales tax increase in the middle of a recession. It is unclear who is advising her to do this but they apparently never took Economics 101.
In a move that will help expedite the state’s economic recovery, the Senate budget plan also includes permanent repeal of the state property tax. The state property tax had been suspended but is slated to come back at the end of this year. Permanent repeal will provide Arizona residents $250 million in property tax relief this year by preventing its reinstatement. Now that’s stimulus.
Gov. Brewer, who is apparently desperate to lose her first gubernatorial primary, has not only stuck by her calls for a tax increase but has promised to veto any budget sent to her by the legislator that does not sock it to Grand Canyon State taxpayers.
The Senate Committee’s approval of a tax-hike free budget to the majority Arizonans. According to a poll by Rassmussen Reports, an overwhelming majority of Arizonans oppose closing the budget gap with a tax increase, even a temporary one.
Stay tuned for the latest on this budget fight that is of national importance.