Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen Releases No on Proposition 204 Op-Ed

Proposition 204 (“Permanent Sales Tax Increase, Education & Transportation”) is NOT the same temporary tax that is in place now and that will expire in 2013. This is a whole new tax with many changes written into the initiative.

Prop 204 is very dangerous, because it changes our constitutional form of government that requires the legislature to appropriate the tax dollars. The tax in place now did not make constitutional changes. Prop 204 decreases the power of the people by taking away their vote to check the legislature in the budgeting process. If Prop 204 passes, it will be nearly impossible for the legislature to change the sales tax rate, one of the highest in the nation, in the future.

Our national economic future is uncertain. Congress is wrestling with their $1.4 trillion budget deficit and the $16 trillion debt, and has passed a budget reduction bill that will cut aid to the state by 9% in 2013. The Arizona Legislature, which is elected by the people and accountable to the people, will need the ability more than ever to appropriate our tax dollars in the best interest of the public’s welfare and safety to keep all state responsibilities functioning.

In addition to the significant structural change in our management of tax money, Prop 204 also has language written into the bill stipulating that the legislature cannot reduce education funding from the 2012 levels going forward. This is reckless, considering that school enrollment can go up or down, and education funding should reflect that reality.

The proposition also has language that gives the Arizona Department of Transportation millions of dollars that can’t be touched and yet there is no reduction in the state gasoline tax that citizens are paying at the pump.

Those who wrote Prop 204 were also generous with other areas concerning welfare and healthcare, throwing millions of dollars into programs, and again tying the hands of the legislature in the budgeting process.

As the teachers union and others talk about the reductions to education these last three years, remember the $3 billion deficit that was brought about by increases in spending that could not be sustained. Between 2008 and 2010, the state lost 33% of its revenue, yet education received a reduction of 3.4%, in comparison to other state agencies which received reductions from 15.8% to 53%.

In 2008, state aid was $5,431 per student. Today it is $5,244. (Schools also receive federal and local dollars we have no control over.) This last session we increased funding to education by $56 million and as revenues improve, the legislature will add more.

The Arizona Legislature worked hard to bring our state budget back into balance. Along with other good legislation we have been able to improve our state economy whereas national job growth is stagnant. Arizona is now Number 4 in the nation for job creation opportunities.

Please vote NO on Prop 204 and protect your ability to have a say in the budgeting process through your elected legislator.

Senator Sylvia Allen
District 5
President pro tempore

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Comments

  1. You say the last legislative session increased education funding by 56 million, but you fail to note the ONE BILLION the Legislature has cut from education in the past 4 years. Schools are receiving almost 800 dollars less per student than they were 4 years ago.

    Wow, the Legislature has restored %0.06 percent of the funding they’ve cut. Are we supposed to be impressed?

    YES ON PROP 204

    • Yes, but the numbers are at or better the 2007-2008 level, no? 2008-2009 was a record-setting year. But guess what, a recession happened in 2009, then we bumped up in funding in 2010. No one actually believes we have recovered from this recession, so the answer is to increase taxes permanently by $1 billion dollars a year with no chance to alter that funding? Guess what…I made more money in 2008 than I do now. Business and tax collections were thriving. But it’s going to take time to recover. 204’s permanent tax increase isn’t going to alter my property taxes, my county, local, or federal taxes. Cities aren’t going to see any of this money. This is asinine policy-making.

      Anyone that would like to see enrollment numbers can click here: http://www.azed.gov/research-evaluation/arizona-enrollment-figures/

  2. What are the total Arizona K-12 enrollments for 2009. 2010, 2011, 2012? Have they increased or decreased?

    • Enrollment in PK-12 has increased in the period 2008-2009 SY to 2011-2012 SY, although not significantly.

      The 2008/09 SY had 1,078,697 students enrolled; 2011/12 SY had 1,083,348 students enrolled (from the azed.gov website). Their numbers included Pre-K students (PK).

  3. T.E. – thanks for the link. Here are Arizona total K-12 and pre-K enrollments 2005-2011.

    2005-06 1,004,009 (****) George W. Bush: jobs Americans won’t do, family values at border, etc.
    2006-07 1,120,610 (+116,601) GWB continues Hispandering and calling for C.I.R. [amnesty]
    2007-08 1,148,448 (+27,838) Comp. Immigration Reform Act of 2007 – defeated 06/07/07
    Legal Arizona Workers Act (sanctions) takes effect 1/1/08
    2008-09 1,078,697 (-69,751)
    2009-10 1,086,047 (-7,350) Arizona SB 1070 signed by Governor Brewer 4/23/10
    2010-11 1,078,939 (-7,208)
    2011-12 1,083,348 (+4,409)

    In my opinion, these enrollment numbers and the trends are reflective of White House immigration “policy”, defeat of amnesty, and passage of enforcement measures. George W. Bush’s constant stumping, encouraging, emboldenment of illegal aliens, and hints of amnesty after his re-election triggered an invasion surge in 2006 and 2007.

    When the Bush/Kennedy/McCain amnesty was defeated in June 2007, and Arizona employer sanctions takes effect in January 2008, an enrollment decline surfaces for three straight years.

    Federal lawsuits against Arizona and SB 1070 may have temporarily interrupted the trend for 2011-12. Now that the heart of SB 1070 was approved by SCOTUS, another enrollment decline – perhaps significant – can be expected ongoing in the 2012-2013 and fully in the 2013-14 year.

    All of this should be considered for the 1-cent FOREVER tax, and also reflects the damage that pro-amnesty politicians (McCain, Kyl, Flake, Lewis, Worsley, etc.) can do to taxpayer burden to provide cheap labor for the Arizona Chamber of Commerce.

  4. RussellPearceWatch says

    Response to Sylvia Allen…how do you really feel about the public school system? Or do you prefer funding the private prison industry who experienced an INCREASE in funding under your legislative watch even with the crime statistics dropping (FBI statistics)?

  5. And ignorant deluded nut like this one are elected senators. Good luck ps the WORLD IS NOT 6000 YEARS OLD

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