State Capitol News
4:22 pm
Thu May 7, 2009

Brewer backs off tax proposal

Phoenix, AZ – Governor Jan Brewer is backing away from her demand that the
budget include higher taxes or face a veto.

Brewer unveiled her five-point plan in early March to balance the
budget. The fifth point is to raise $1 billion a year for three
or four years. Brewer did call the tax hike the -- quote -- very
last resort. But she also said that day she would not ask --
quoting again -- if I did not firmly and confidently believe that
is absolutely necessary. Since that time Brewer has spoken to
various groups pushing the plan. Last month, for example, she
chided Republican lawmakers for proposing to borrow money instead
of hiking taxes.

(Funny math just doesn't work. It doesn't work in your home
budget, it doesn't work in government budgets. And it doesn't
work in business budgets. Let's be realistic. Let's look at it
and see the problem and solve the problem in the long term.)

She also has called the tax hike obvious and said -- quote --
there is no other way. On Wednesday, though, with Brewer now
meeting with GOP leaders who oppose her plan, the governor's
rhetoric on what she is telling lawmakers had cooled from saying
it is necessary to saying it might be.

(They are aware I have a five-point plan. And they are aware, at
last resort, we might need a temporary tax increase.)

Gubernatorial press aide Paul Senseman said later that Brewer is
open to approving a budget without a tax hike. But he said that,
given the state's finances, the governor still doesn't see that
happening.