Senate President Bob Burns said there is a tentative agreement to ask lawmakers to refer a sales-tax hike to the 2010 ballot.
The agreement has emerged from ongoing budget talks between himself, House Speaker Kirk Adams and Gov. Jan Brewer.
Ignoring for the moment the fact that his proposal is only for a temporary increase to the state's sales tax, the most regressive and unstable source of revenue available to the state, this is his idea of a sound fiscal fix for the state's woes?
We're trying to fix a yawning maw in the FY2010 budget, and Burns wants to wait until halfway through FY2011 to shore up the state's revenues?
And before someone accuses me of being in favor of a hike to the sales tax, I'm not. A sales tax hike is irresponsible and short-sighted (two words which, not-so-coincidentally, describe the Republican caucus of the AZ lege).
However, given the Rep caucus' desire to permanently cripple the state with its reflexive corporate tax cuts, a sales tax hike is the only possible revenue enhancement that has a chance of getting through the lege and onto the ballot.
Of course, Burns makes it clear that he doesn't support any tax hike, and he is going to work to make sure that any such proposal that makes it to the ballot is worded in a way to ensure that the state's voters won't support it.
From the Political Insider piece -
Burns also said there is no plan to put "trigger language" in the measure that would direct the money to specific budget items, such as education.
Yeah, there's nothing like making sure that the new revenues won't go to the areas that voters support to make sure that they don't vote for the tax hike.