Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Gov. Jan Brewer is trying to get the Arizona Legislature to send a tax increase proposal to the ballot.

The proposal would increase state taxes by a billion dollars a year for three years.

In the middle of a recession.

At a time when many families are already struggling financially and when many businesses are already laying off workers and cutting back on production.

PLEASE CONTACT GOV. BREWER TODAY and tell her you think raising taxes on families and businesses during a recession is a BAD IDEA.

Please send Gov. Brewer a quick email, or better still, leave her a phone message, and ask her to start listening to taxpayers, and to stop listening to the political consultants and fixers who have given her such bad advice.

Contacts for Gov. Brewer’s communications office are:

Email: psenseman@az.gov Phone: (602) 542-1342

Also, use the comment form at http://azgovernor.gov/Contact.asp



More info about Gov. Brewer’s tax increase proposal:

Gov. Brewer’s tax increase proposal is part of a pair of ballot proposals that would go to the ballot a few months from now. The other proposal would ask voters to let the Legislature make cuts to areas of the budget that have been protected from cuts by past voter mandates.

The obvious danger is that if the two proposals go to the ballot separately, the spending lobbies and tax-takers (who are much more well-funded and well-organized than groups representing taxpayers) will pass the tax increase and shoot down the authorization for spending cuts.

Even if the Legislature is able to evade the single-subject rule and legally bind the two proposals together (though conditional enactment clauses in both referenda), here is the result:

The spending lobbies get a guaranteed tax increase, but taxpayers only get the possibility of spending reductions in formerly protected budget areas.

Some have described the double referenda as a “win-win” scenario. It is definitely a win for the spending lobbies and the tax-takers, because they will get to raise taxes. And it is something of a win for Legislators, who will be able to spread budget cuts more evenly.

But it is NOT a win for taxpayers. There is nothing in the package to keep the state from resuming its pattern of rollercoaster budgeting as soon as the recession is over. Even if the tax increases really are temporary, and really do expire in three years, the state will soon be wracked by an uncontrolled spending binge, just as it was during the past six years.

When the tax money comes pouring in again, the politicians will spend every penny that comes in, and leverage that money to spend yet more. They will raise spending to unsustainable levels in order to please the tax-takers and the spending lobbies, just as they did during the last six years. They will create yet another gigantic budget deficit crisis during the next economic downturn, when the revenue falls off. Once again, the politicians will come at us with tax increase proposals. And next time, the “fix” may be a permanent tax increase, rather than a temporary one.

If Arizona taxpayers and fiscal conservatives are even going to begin to consider a ballot bargain package that includes a temporary tax increase, it will have to include the Taxpayer Bill of Rights—the only reform that can stop the spending rollercoaster. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) would create a sustainable upper limit to state spending growth, by limiting the growth in state government to the rate of growth of population plus inflation, with immediate refunds to taxpayers of excess monies.

See this chart for a visual of how TABOR would have worked, had it been in effect since 1993:


Bob Robb had a similar take in his column in the Sunday Republic:


If TABOR is not attached to the ballot package in a bomb-proof manner, Arizona is better off balancing the budget with the tools currently at the disposal of the Legislature and Governor. They should start with the $2.2 billion in spending reductions suggested by the appropriations chairmen in their January 15 budget, and find creative ways to save the other $1.5 billion by selling state assets, privatizing state functions, and eliminating entitlement fraud.

Tom Jenney

Arizona Director

Americans for Prosperity

(Arizona Federation of Taxpayers)



(602) 478-0146

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