Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Terry Goddard challenges Jan Brewer on taxes

In a letter to Brewer, Goddard challenged Brewer to pledge that any revenues raised via an increase to the state's sale tax won't be given to deep-pocketed corporations in the form of targeted tax cuts.

The letter, from an email from the Goddard campaign -

March 17, 2010

Dear Governor Brewer:

I have been giving careful consideration to your proposal to temporarily increase the State sales tax in response to Arizona’s fiscal crisis. That crisis, which has significantly worsened in the last year, threatens our schools, our health and security, and our quality of life. It has been exacerbated by your and the Legislature’s continued failure to produce a balanced budget despite Arizona’s constitutional requirement for one that was due nearly nine months ago.

Your proposed sales tax increase offers a temporary and incomplete solution. In addition to the fact that it raises only about one-third of the revenue needed to cover the projected deficit, your plan suffers from the significant flaw that it imposes new tax burdens on consumers – including Arizona’s struggling middle class – whose collective buying power will be crucial to pulling us out of our current slump. It does so without even considering the possibility of more equitable and long-term solutions, such as closing the many tax loopholes that favor the rich and big corporations. Under your plan, for example, a family that must buy a car for work or school faces higher taxes, while someone buying a membership in an elite country club pays no sales tax whatsoever.

Most troubling to me, however, is the fact that voters are being asked to pass this tax increase without knowing the status of other tax proposals still being considered by the legislature, including a plan to slash hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate taxes. Middle-income Arizonans simply should not be asked to finance through temporary higher sales taxes a permanent non-targeted cut in corporate taxes. Such a result is not only grossly unfair to working Arizonans, but would stymie our economic recovery and leave Arizona with a deeper, long-term budget hole.

To my knowledge, you have never publicly stated where you stand on the corporate tax breaks being considered by the legislature, but I sincerely hope that you recognize the folly of funding any such tax breaks through a sales tax on middle-income Arizonans – particularly on the heels of devastating cuts to our schools, health care and public safety. Arizonans like my wife and me cannot support your proposed sales tax increase if you intend to follow it with across-the-board corporate tax cuts. I call upon you to pledge your veto to any non-targeted corporate tax giveaways that would appreciably offset the short-term revenue gains from Prop. 100. Arizonans deserve meaningful assurances from you that the increased revenues from your tax increase will truly benefit our schools, public health, and public safety.


Terry Goddard

Go to Goddard's website to learn about Terry, his vision for Arizona, and to volunteer to help him.

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