Robert Robb: Prop. 204 tax initiative a well-intended wreck


Arizona Republic columnist Robert Robb provides this assessment on Arizona ballot measure Proposition 204:

The debate about the sales-tax increase, Proposition 204, is taking place primarily at the high policy level.

Proponents say that education needs more money and that the Legislature can’t be counted on to provide it. Opponents say Prop. 204 just pours more money into the system without accountability reforms to ensure better outcomes and leaves Arizona with the second-highest sales tax in the country.

It’s difficult to get voters to peer into the weeds on these complicated ballot propositions. But with Prop. 204, it’s important that they at least take a peek. That’s because, technically, Prop. 204 is a wreck.

And part of its technical incompetence gets to the heart of its promise to provide new funding for education.

Prop. 204 provides funding to pay for inflation increases in existing K-12 funding. But the proposition is unclear as to whether that’s just the current year’s inflation or cumulative from the effective date of the proposition.

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