Thursday, August 13, 2009

The equalization property tax permanent repeal may not be dead

Most media outlets in AZ are reporting that for all practical purposes, the permanent repeal of the state's equalization property tax (said repeal long being a fervent desire of the Republicans in the lege) is dead because the lege won't be able to pass the repeal by the time that the state's county boards of supervisors set property tax rates.

AZCentral.com story here. The Arizona Guardian and Arizona Capitol Times also have stories on this theme, but those are subscription-only sites.

While waiting for the Senate to get off of its collective duff on Tuesday, a few regular observers were talking in the gallery. The expectation, even before the latest collapse of the latest budget deal, was that in fact that the deal *would* collapse but that there was no rush to do the equalization repeal.

The Reps would just pass one at their leisure with a clause forcing the counties to refund any monies collected, not only reducing revenues for education, but making the counties absorb yet more costs, this time for the refund program.

And to those whose first reaction is "But they can't do that!" -

They've been doing stuff that "they can't do" for months now, whether it was taking voter-protected money from First Things First or refusing to send duly passed and engrossed bills to the Governor. Both tactics and more were slapped down by the courts, but that isn't slowing down the Reps. (Turning off the clocks on June 30 in order to maintain the illusion that they fulfilled their constitutional duty to pass a budget before the start of the new fiscal year is

And even if they don't use that particular route to railroad through the permanent tax cut for their benefactors at Pinnacle West and other large corporations, there are other ways for them to accomplish the same thing.

Sorry to be a wet blanket folks...

Other notes:

...The lege is recessed until Monday at 1. Apparently, they are all going to enthusiastically welcome President Obama to Phoenix on Monday morning.

OK, probably not. :)

...On Thursday, the Senate revived the sales tax referral contained in HB2015 with a motion to reconsider. It could be approved/disapproved early next week.

1 comment:

Jen said...

I would LIKE to believe that they'd stop all of these legislative parlor tricks and simply legislate with integrity. Though as I type this, it occurs to me that "integrity" is often subject to sweeping interpretation in our legislature.

SO the Senate showed up yesterday to "pray & pledge" and then took off for a three-day weekend. I'm all for prayer, but I'm more than a little upset that while AZ citizens are twisting in the desert heat, our elected leaders parade their Christian street cred instead of balancing and passing a healthy budget.

Week after week, session after session, they fail to begin on time, if at all, and the only matter of business that seems to be at all pressing is getting that almighty prayer in.

I appreciate that there is a great deal happening behind the scenes, but that is just it: it's BEHIND the scenes! If we've learned nothing else this legislative session, it's that our leaders love the wall that devides the public eye from their busy work. Amendments fail to be made available to the public online, committee meetings/votes are held at the last minute, with little notice to the public...

I'm ranting. Sorry. This isn't my space to do that. I appreciate all that you do, and the time you take to attend this sideshow. You write and put forward a great resource to those who otherwise can't pull away from their obligations.

Thanks be to God. Amen.