[The following “Dear Voters” letter will appear in the official Secretary of State’s Ballot Proposition Voter's Guide that will be mailed to Arizona’s 3,116,089 registered voters before the May 18, 2010 special election. It’s ironic that Randy Pullen paid the full $100 to submit this argument rather than saving $25 and paying only $75 had he provided the text in electronic format. But hey, it’s only money! MBW]
As you consider Proposition 100, I think it is important to look at Arizona’s budget crisis in context:
In just 3 years, state tax revenues have declined by over 35%. This is the worst recession the state has ever faced. Arizona’s state revenues are at or below 2004 revenues [sic] levels. At the same time, since 2004, Arizona has grown – adding over 140,000 students to K-12 and the University system, over 11,000 new prisoners and over 475,000 Medicaid enrollees. The result is Arizona is trying to do more today with less – to serve a growing population.
Arizona must continue to attract new businesses and new talent to the state, as well as support our existing small businesses throughout the state. With new business, future tax cuts for individuals and businesses will help attract investment and grow our future economy. Making Arizona as business friendly as possible is the key to our long-term economic success.
However, in the interim, it is appropriate for Arizona to look for a temporary revenue source to maintain critical government functions such as public safety and education services to our growing population. As such, a temporary one-cent sales tax increase is a reasonable solution to this problem. A majority of Republican legislators, along with Democrats in both state houses voted to place Proposition 100 on the ballot.
Combined with a comprehensive tax reform package that reduces future taxes for both individuals and businesses, Prop 100 would be an appropriate tool to help Arizona build towards economic recovery and meet the needs of a fast growing state.