Monday, April 12, 2010


On Monday, a committee of the Arizona Senate approved a bill that, if passed by the entire lege and signed into law, would reduce state revenue by almost $650 million per year by 2017.

The bill would -
  • phase out the state's equalization property tax (revenue from which is dedicated to funding education)
  • cut corporate income taxes by ~30% (and no strings attached, like a requirement that the money then be turned around to create jobs in Arizona)
  • cut corporate property taxes (forcing residential property owners to pick up the slack in local bond elections)
Just to reiterate some of the ways that that the Rs in the lege have "balanced" the budget -
  • Ended KidsCare (Arizona's version of SCHIP), taking away the medical care for nearly 40,000 children in Arizona
  • Proposed that the voters override themselves and take away funding from First Things First (eliminating early childhood development and health care funding) and give the money to the lege to appropriate
  • Reduced eligibility for AHCCCS (Arizona's Medicaid program), taking away the health care for over 300,000 Arizonans
  • Cut the pay of state employees by at least 5%
  • Asked the voters to approve a temporary sales tax increase, threatening steeper cuts to education, health care, and infrastructure in Arizona
In short, they are provisionally* balancing the budget on the backs of Arizona's poorest residents, yet are turning around even before the ink has dried on those cuts and giving the money that has been save to corporations.

* = "provisionally" because the budget won't be balanced unless the voters approve some of the schemes put forward by the lege (sales tax hike, eliminate First Things First, etc.). If the answer from the voters is "no" on any of the many issues that the lege punted on, then the budget is totally out of whack.


Any question what the Rs' priorities are? Hint: looking after the long-term best interests of Arizonans (you know, the people who they swore an oath to) isn't on the list.

To reiterate a point I made a couple of posts ago -

The important election this year isn't the May special election concerning the sales tax hike, it's the general election in November.

If this isn't the year we make some serious inroads into the Republican control of the Capitol, the devastation of the last two years will be nothing compared to that of the next two.

1 comment:

Thane Eichenauer said...

I'll point out that it is business property taxes that the legislature proposes to be reduced. There are businesses that aren't corporations.