State Capitol News
1:23 pm
Thu August 13, 2009

Budget sent to Governor could cause showdown

Phoenix, AZ – Last month Brewer vetoed a plan to cut more than $600 million in spending, calling it -- quote -- fatally flawed. Since that time the governor agreed to virtually the same package but with a condition: lawmakers would need to give voters the chance to temporarily hike state sales taxes to restore some of the cuts, especially to education. But on Wednesday the bill to do that came up one vote short. Democrats said the package still cuts spending too much, with no guarantee revenues from a sales tax hike would restore them. But some Republicans like Pamela Gorman said they couldn't support taking more money out of the economy through higher taxes.

(Even putting out the option of a sales tax that affects Arizona
families and Arizona businesses, because they pass that tax on,
it could affect their sales, I feel is irresponsible. And that's
why I have to vote no.)

The failure to refer the tax hike to voters also kills a plan to
cut corporate and individual income taxes by $400 million a year
beginning in 2011 because the issues were linked. The only
question now is what Brewer will do with the parts of the budget
that will reach her desk. She isn't saying, instead issuing a
press release calling the actions of foes of the tax referral,
quote, irresponsible. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard
Fischer.