The latest word from the Capitol is that two lobbyists have formed a group, TIME, to push the legislature to put a referendum on the ballot asking voters to raise the statewide sales tax by at least a half cent to pay for new road construction. Nor are these run-of-the-mill lobbyists either. They are uber-lobbyists Marty Schultz, who has never met a major project he didn’t think was worthy of using your tax dollars to “invest in”; and Chuck Coughlin, who lobbies for the Associated General Contractors whose members would, coincidentally of course, stand to get paid mucho dinero to build all of these new roads.
West Washington’s Senate Eyes tell us that the process began when the lobbyists approached Senate Transportation Chairman Ron Gould with their tax hike scheme. Any guesses how short that meeting must have been? Everyone knows that higher taxes are a non-starter in Gould’s committee. Hopefully, Senator Gould’s Republican colleagues in the Legislature will have the same kind of backbone and say “No!” to increasing taxes. The last thing Arizona Republicans need right now is to be seen as the party of higher taxes. On the other hand, it would provide conservatives with great ammunition in the ’08 primaries against some of their more liberal colleagues.
If the lobbyists do get their way, West Washington would like to recommend a campaign slogan for the effort. How about “Finish the Freeways!”? Seems to have worked well enough last time (to the tune of $4 BILLION)… Say, now that we think about it, when will those freeways be done?