I’m amazed by the furor over my reference to an article that 1) David Schweikert sponsored a tax increase on diesel gasoline in the legislature and 2) the breathless assertions that we at SA celebrate diversity of opinion while profusely apologizing for the “errors” of the writers with whom we disagree.
Here are the facts that have not yet been disputed:
The road usage tax at the time was a job killer for the trucking industry. A group of legislators attempted to repeal the tax to create jobs. The tax cut would have decreased government revenue. The solution was to increase a different tax, the tax on diesel fuel, to cover the shortfall.
Here is a quote from the article we’re all using as a source (an Arizona Daily Star article was cited as though it somehow refutes the allegation, but in reality the Associated Press articles run in multiple newspapers and it is exactly the same article).
“To offset that loss, Steffey (a sponsor of the bill at issue) proposes to amend the bill to add 8 cents to the state tax on diesel fuel.”
So as it stood, the diesel fuel tax in Arizona was 18 cents. If the amended bill passed, it would have been 26 cents. The article also points out that this would have been one of the highest rates in the West. Let’s agree that since the government is setting the rate, collecting it, and spending it, that it is in fact a tax.
The article lists David Schweikert as a sponsor. Therefore, David Schweikert sponsored a bill that would have increased the tax rate on diesel gasoline from 18 cents to 26 cents.
You can argue that the road use tax hurt the economy, that it was unfair, high, and cumbersome to collect. You can argue that the revenue shortfall had to be covered. You can argue that the truckers welcomed the tax increase, especially in light of the road use tax repeal. You can even argue that the revenue shortfall could not have been closed by cutting spending, coupled with an increase in revenue from the expansion of the domestic trucking industry.
You cannot, however, deny that 1) this was a tax increase on diesel fuel and 2) David Schweikert was a sponsor.