Wednesday, November 14, 2007

AZ Federatio of Taxpayers: Tell AZ Legislators to Stop Over-Spending!

No new debt, no gimmicks, and NO TAX INCREASES!

Please contact your Arizona state Legislators and tell them to stop over-spending. In their quest for ever-expanding government programs, the Governor and the big spenders in the Arizona Legislature have emptied the state’s wallet. The state’s budget deficit has now climbed to $900 million, exceeding the money in the state’s rainy day fund. Click here to contact your lawmakers.

To “fix” the deficit, the big spenders plan to raid the rainy day fund, use accounting gimmicks, and transfer funds from dedicated revenue sources (such as state highway money). Some of the big spenders are even talking about raising taxes--taking even more money out of taxpayer wallets!

But there is no need for gimmicks, fund transfers, or for raiding the rainy day fund.

The FY2007 budget, for the fiscal year that ended on June 30th, was $9.7 billion. The FY2008 trial budget, which the Legislature and Governor approved in June, is $10.6 billion.

The Legislature can fix the deficit and save $900 million by spending the same amount it did last year. No spending cuts are necessary.

Voter-approved formulas require increased spending in some program areas, but those departments can offset those spending increases with reductions in non-formula areas. The overall FY2008 budget can be the same as it was in FY2007. No spending cuts, but no spending increases, either.

To stop overspending in the future, Legislators must give voters a chance to lower the state's existing constitutional spending limit. The current limit is 7.41 percent, which was helpful back in the big-spending days of Jimmy Carter, but we do not want state government to ever get that big again! Click here to contact your lawmakers.

The state’s spending limit should be reduced to no more than 6.5 percent of state personal income, which is a little less than what the government is currently spending. That way, if the economy grows, the government can grow with it -- but the government should not be allowed to grow faster than the economy.

Last session, the spending limit bill was sponsored by Reps. Russell Pearce (R-Mesa), Trish Groe ( R-Lake Havasu City), Rick Murphy (R-Glendale), Kirk Adams (R-Mesa), Andy Biggs (R-Gilbert), Sam Crump (R-Anthem), and Michelle Reagan (R-Scottsdale), as well as by Sens. Jack Harper (R-Surprise) and Karen Johnson (R-Mesa). This coming year, we need every state Legislator to sign on and support the spending limit reduction.

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