State Capitol News
9:27 am
Tue March 13, 2012

Governor Brewer Circumspect on Penny Sales Tax

The initiative launched last week would kick in on June 1st, 2013, the day after the current three-year temporary tax hike approved by voters expires. Proponents say the money is needed to ensure adequate funding for education, with some cash earmarked for transit projects and programs for children. Governor Jan Brewer, who pushed that temporary levy, said her main concern is THAT one expires as she promised.

"Now, what the community decides to do or what the Legislature decides to do is not in my control," said Brewer. "So, I'm awaiting to hear exactly what they are doing. I don't have a lot of information on it at this point in time."

The governor said she pushed the temporary tax hike to ensure there was enough money for education and other vital state needs. But she sidestepped the question of whether those needs can be met if the additional levy and the $1 billion a year it brings in expires next year, instead using the opportunity to take a slap at lawmakers who have proposed a much leaner budget than she wants.

"My budget increases education spending and the Legislature hasn't met me at that level at this point in time," said the governor. "So I'm hoping they adopt my budget and we will move forward from there."

Negotiations on a spending plan continue behind closed doors.