State Capitol News
3:42 pm
Tue July 14, 2009

Republicans poised to put tax question on ballot

Flagstaff, AZ – Some Senate Republicans appear ready to give Governor Jan Brewer
what she wants: Ask voters if they want to hike the state sales
tax. But there's more to it than that.

So far most of the Republicans who control the Legislature have
been unwilling to even put the issue on the November ballot. But
what some are beginning to realize is there's a price to be paid
for that: Brewer has vetoed some of the things they want. Sen.
Barbara Leff pointed out one of the things Brewer vetoed was the
permanent repeal of the state property tax. That levy, formally
called the county equalization tax, was suspended when the state
had a surplus in 2006. But without legislative action it returns
this fall.

(So we can sit here and act really pure that we're not going to
refer something to the ballot to allow the voters to decide
whether they wanted to do the one cent sales tax, or we can allow
everyone to be taxed without any choice, because that county
equalization rate will be a tax increase on all homeowners and
all businesses. And it's going to happen if we do nothing.)

But Sen. Ron Gould remained adamant against sending the issue to
voters, even if it does get some Republican priorities enacted.

(I continue to have people explain to me why I should vote for a
tax increase, why I should pair it up with some other reform. To
me, that looks like cover. It looks like choke down half a bad
bologna sandwich because the other half is good. I'm just not
willing to do that.)

Gould also said Republicans run the risk of being tricked by the
governor.