Why we must vote “NO” on Prop One, the new sales tax.
By Roy Miller, taxpayer activist, Phoenix
Inasmuch as public safety is the primary responsibility of government, why is it necessary to secure its funding via a supplemental tax increase? Shouldn’t this essential function of government have first call on the existing revenue sources? Of course it should. Why, then, is it placed before the voters as a special need?
The answer is simple. The City already spends millions of our tax dollars on a bloated bureaucracy and frivolous expenditures. These peripheral items are what ought to be put to a public vote. They aren’t, though, because the City well knows we wouldn’t approve them. That is why they cynically bury this waste in the core budget and offer the critical public safety needs as an optional expenditure needing voter authorization.
City politicians must be rebuked for this cynical use of the ballot aimed at allowing them to keep funding their numerous pet projects. They think that all they need to do is hold citizens hostage by insisting on added taxes for those functions that all agree are proper and then they can continue spending the millions we already pay in taxes on functions that are either less important or that should not be performed by government at all. If we continue to let them get away with this tactic there will be no stopping the growth of city government expenditures.
The City’s politicians are making fools out of the voters. It is the council’s duty to take no more money from the people than the minimum amount that is needed to perform the proper functions of government. Under the current crop of politicians, Phoenix government spending has been exploding faster than any reasonable measure of the people’s ability to pay. Very few citizens are getting the kind of increases in compensation that Phoenix is getting in its budget.
Furthermore, there isn’t any problem facing the City of Phoenix for which a tax increase is necessary. The tax revenue currently coming in to the City of Phoenix totals far more than is needed to fund the proper functions of city government. The city’s bureaucrats need to spend the money they are already getting in a responsible manner to ensure that public safety is taken care of before any other uses of tax money are considered. They need to learn to prioritize, just like citizens of Phoenix have to do with the money they earn.
And, to rub salt in our wounds, there is another item on this ballot (Prop 3) that would allow the same politicians to circumvent the Arizona Constitution’s spending limits. These spending limits quite generously allow the City’s budget to increase along with the growth of Phoenix. Generous as this automatic increase is, the City routinely demands even more.
We need to put a stop to this cynical pillaging of the taxpayers. We can get a start on doing this by voting NO on Proposition One.