State Capitol News
Sat August 8, 2009
State recieves OK to reformat budget element
By Howard Fischer
Phoenix, AZ – Most Republicans in the Legislature took the pledge crafted by anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist never to do anything to raise taxes. They were able to support the proposal to send a sales tax hike to the ballot because the same bill also includes property and income tax cuts. Now there's an effort to split that into two
bills, one with the tax referral and the other with the tax cuts, >to pick up Senate votes. That would force lawmakers who signed the no-tax pludge to vote for a bill whose only purpose was asking voters to hike the sales tax for three years to raise money Gov. Jan Brewer said Arizona needs to weather the recession. But on Friday, Patrick Gleason of Americans for Tax Reform, Norquist's group, said his boss will not hold such a vote against them.
(As long as the whole package is either a net tax cut or revenue
neutral, there is no pledge implications and it's pledge neutral.
That doesn't mean we endorse it or oppose it. It just means that
nobody is violating their pledge.)
Gleason said Norquist sees the issue not as one bill or two but
as a simple math equation. The sales tax hike, if approved by
voters, could raise $2.5 billion over its three-year life. But
over five years the tax cuts in the package would amount to more
than $2.8 billion. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard