State Capitol News
8:23 am
Wed January 27, 2010

Temporary sales tax not likely to happen

Phoenix, AZ – Brewer has been trying for nearly a year now to get lawmakers to
put a proposed one-cent hike in the sales tax on the ballot, to
no avail. Now, with the budget year more than half over and the
state still $1.4 billion in the red, she wants legislators to
just do it. But both Senate President Bob Burns and House Speaker
Kirk Adams said they can't round up the necessary two-thirds vote
in each chamber for a direct tax hike. That leaves the ballot
referral as the lone option. Gubernatorial press aide Paul
Senseman said his boss still is holding out hope lawmakers will
move on her latest plan.

(Given the math and the reality of the situation, the governor
took a very couragous stand on behalf of the citizens. That's
what she's asking members of both parties to do, put their
politics aside and do something good for the state.)

That math is the fact that a legislative vote to hike sales taxes
could have the levy imposed in March, bringing in more than $200
million the balance of this fiscal year. But if the election is
not until May, then retailers won't start charging the extra
penny until June -- assuming voters pass it -- and Brewer's
budget plan won't be balanced For Arizona Public Radio this is
Howard Fischer.