14 days into the new fiscal year, Arizona lawmakers remain in special session to resolve the state budget. The legislature has already approved two budgets, so what’s the hold up one might ask? The reason is simply that an unelected governor refuses to sign a budget that does not refer her demanded 18% sales tax hike to the ballot.
Never mind the fact that an increase in sales tax will only further depress retail sales and ultimately state revenues, Governor Brewer is so desperate to get a tax increase in the middle of a recession that she is going to hold the state budget hostage until she gets it.
Two weeks ago Brewer vetoed a budget that included much needed spending cuts and permanent repeal of the state property tax. If you have a hard time understanding how Brewer’s supporters still claim that she is a fiscal conservative in light of this, we share your bewilderment.
The Scottsdale Review reported yesterday that a number of GOP lawmakers are warming up to the idea of a sales tax referral in order to get the budget passed.
The article attributed Sen. Barbara Leff (R-Paradise Valley) as claiming that “it’s time for Republicans to vote to refer the issue to voters.” What Leff is actually arguing for represents a violation of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which she herself signed and in doing so made a promise to her constituents to “oppose any and all efforts to increase taxes. ATR encourages Leff’s constituents to write her to ask that she reconsider this position and uphold her commitment to Arizona taxpayers.
Explaining why he would not vote for referral of the Brewer tax hike under any circumstances, Sen. Ron Gould (R-Lake Havasu) states that he has “no faith that the governor’s a woman of her word.” ATR agrees with Gould that referring Brewer’s sales tax hike to the ballot at the end of this day is not compromise, it’s capitulation.
There is no example in recent history of a Republican governor pushing so adamantly for a tax increase, even in a good economy. What makes Arizona’s case all the more peculiar is the fact that she is fighting a GOP controlled legislature.
ATR urges Arizona taxpayers to CLICK HERE and urge their representatives oppose and vote "NO" on any attempt to refer Gov. Brewer’s 18% sales tax increase.