Friday, June 20, 2008

AFP: Arizona revenue to hit TABOR levels in 2009

The Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity (AFP Arizona) announced today that the state government’s revenue next year will be roughly equal to the revenue allowed by the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), a fiscally conservative spending limit, if that limit had been adopted in 2004, after the state’s last major budget crisis. TABOR would have limited state spending to the rate of growth of Arizona’s population, plus inflation. Instead of facing a $2.2 billion deficit this year, the state under TABOR would today enjoy a small surplus.

AFP Arizona based its calculations (click here for graph) on new revenue projections announced by the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) in its testimony before joint House and Senate Appropriations Committee members Tuesday. The JLBC forecasts state general fund revenues to come in as low as $9.0 billion in Fiscal Year 2008 (the year ending at the end of this month). With 1.2 percent revenue growth forecast for FY 2009, and 3.8 percent for FY 2010, revenue in FY 2010 would be $9.5 billion, with a small surplus over the trendline TABOR budget for FY 2010 of $9.3 billion.

“It may sound like gloating to tell the politicians, ‘We told you so,’” said AFP Arizona director Tom Jenney. “But the fact is, we told you so.” Groups such as the Goldwater Institute and the Arizona Federation of Taxpayers (now AFP Arizona) have issued multiple alerts during the last five years, warning that spending was on a dangerous “rollercoaster ride” and growing at unsustainable rates that would set the state up for massive deficits during a recession. Those warnings were echoed in multiple proposals by House Appropriations chairman Russell Pearce (R-Mesa) and other fiscal conservatives to refer a TABOR-style referendum to Arizona voters.

If Arizona voters had approved a TABOR-style referendum in 2004, the government would have refunded over $4.5 billion to taxpayers through FY 2008, and would not be facing a deficit.

Under a less stringent spending limit based upon personal income growth, in which government spending is not allowed to outpace the growth of the state economy, the government would have refunded close to $4 billion to taxpayers from 2004 to 2007, ending with a negligible deficit of $140 million in FY 2008 and a manageable deficit of $730 million in FY 2009 (one-third the size of the actual deficit).


Join Americans for Prosperity and support your grassroots taxpayer watchdog.

The Arizona Federation of Taxpayers has served the hard-working people of our state since 1980. Now that we have teamed up with Americans for Prosperity, we are fighting the Big Spenders at all levels of government—local, state, and national.

For $10 a year, you can take a stand for freedom and limited government—and save yourself hundreds of dollars a year in taxes. JOIN NOW!

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is the nation’s premier grassroots organization committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and scope of government is the best safeguard to ensuring individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFP educates and engages citizens in support of restraining state and federal government growth, and returning government to its constitutional limits.

No comments: