Congressman Ben Quayle Opposes Proposition 204

Warns Taxpayers of the Negative Impact a Permanent Sales Tax Increase Will Have on Arizona’s Economic Development

PHOENIX —Today, Arizona Congressman Ben Quayle joined State Treasurer Doug Ducey in opposition to Proposition 204. The unintended consequences of Prop 204 has the list of community and business leaders rallying against the largest permanent sales tax increase in Arizona’s history growing by the day.

“This tax increase will not only hurt all hard working Arizonans, it will also make Arizona a less attractive place to do business,” said Congressman Quayle. “We have the ability to stop a permanent sales tax increase that will force current and future generations to pay a $1 billion annual tax. Voting ‘NO’ on Proposition 204 will stop this special interest tax increase that has no accountability and offers no real reform for our education system.”

Congressman Quayle has spent his tenure in Washington fighting for smart tax policies that reward, rather than punish, Americans. Prop 204’s permanent tax increase on Arizona families sends the message that not only that Arizona is closed for business, but also that the state does not care about the families that continue to struggle during this economic recovery.

“Congressman Quayle has fought tirelessly against policies that burden families,” said Doug Ducey, Chairman of the No New Taxes, No on 204 committee. “Raising sales taxes 18 percent on every purchase will not help families, not attract new business to our state, and not help promote existing business growth throughout Arizona.”

To learn more about Proposition 204, please visit


Gilbert Mayor John Lewis Supports Local Override; Opposes Prop 204

No on 204

PHOENIX — Today Gilbert Mayor John Lewis joined a growing number of local leaders from across the state opposing the permanent $1 billion annual tax increase created by Prop 204.

“As Mayor of Gilbert and an advocate for Gilbert Education, I am voting ‘YES’ on our local override, which supports our families and businesses,” said Mayor Lewis. “The override continues the same funding level that our School District has been operating for ten years without an increase. However, Proposition 204 permanently raises taxes and is structured poorly, which does not help our families and businesses. I am voting ‘NO’ on 204.”

The Arizona Republic, The Arizona League of Cities and Towns, 11 Chambers of Commerce, 14 professional business associations, and 44 Mayors and local City Councilmembers have all come out in opposition to Prop 204. To see a complete list, click here.

“I greatly appreciate the leadership Mayor Lewis has brought to the East Valley,” added Doug Ducey, the Chairman for No New Taxes, No on 204. “Prop 204 includes hundreds of millions of dollars in special interest earmarks and cuts out tax revenue sharing with local municipalities. Arizona deserves real education reforms that Prop 204 just won’t deliver.”

To learn more about Proposition 204, please visit


East Valley Chamber Alliance Releases 2012 Voter Guide

East Valley Business Community Opposes Propositions 121 and 204

GILBERT – The East Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance (EVCCA) today released its 2012 Voter Guide. The Voter Guide recommends positions on the November ballot measures.

“The EVCCA Voter Guide is a powerful consensus tool for chamber members as they head to the polls,” said EVCCA Chair Angela Creedon. “The EVCCA only takes a position on a ballot measure when all seven chambers agree.”

The East Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance is the largest chamber of commerce organization in Arizona. It includes the Apache Junction, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa Queen Creek, Scottsdale and Tempe Chambers of Commerce representing more than 5,500 businesses in the East Valley.

Proposition 121 would eliminate the current partisan primary system in Arizona and establish an open primary in which the two (or more for offices in which more than one individual is elected) candidates receiving the most votes move on to the general election.

Proposition 204 would create a permanent $.01 sales tax increase to fund educational programs, public transportation infrastructure projects and human services programs. The tax and funding allocations are preserved in perpetuity.

For more information on the EVCCA’s ballot positions, please contact Tom Dorn, Eric Emmert or Heather Wilkey at (602) 606- 4667.

For more information on the ballot measures themselves, please visit the Arizona State Legislature’s website at or the Secretary of State’s website at

Arizona League of Cities and Towns opposes Prop 204

August 8, 2012

City and Town Officials:

At a Special Meeting of the Executive Committee on July 6, a decision was made that the League of Arizona Cities and Towns take a position in opposition to the Quality Education and Jobs Ballot Initiative and in support of Proposition 119, land exchanges around military bases.

The decision on the Quality Education initiative was based solely on its impact on cities and towns. As written, the initiative does not continue the present distribution formula for shared revenue from the state sales tax which currently goes to cities, towns and counties. The estimated amount lost to cities and towns by not having the shared revenue formula apply to the new one-cent tax is approximately $84 million per year. Furthermore, if enacted, the total sales tax rate will make it exceedingly difficult for any municipality to increase its own sales tax rate to meet future local needs.

I want to make it clear that the League of Arizona Cities and Towns does not oppose proper funding for public education in the state, nor is it making any comment about the appropriateness of its funding levels. Our opposition to the initiative is based purely on the impact it will have on cities and towns, and our future revenue streams.

Although our position has been reported in some media outlets, we have not publicly announced it yet, because it is not yet officially on the ballot. The final decision on that issue will be made by the Arizona Supreme Court.

The timing of our meeting was due to the deadline for submission of statements for the publicity pamphlet on July 11th.

The decision to take this position was not made lightly, and not all Mayors in the state are in support of it.

In the attachments, you will find the statement that was submitted for the publicity pamphlet and our Talking Points on the initiative.

Also included is the statement filed in support of Proposition 119 regarding land exchanges to prevent development encroachment on the state’s military bases.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or Ken Strobeck, League Executive Director. I look forward to seeing you all at the League Conference later this month.

Doug Von Gausig, President

Mayor of Clarkdale

No New Taxes, No on 204 Releases First Television Ad, “Temporary”


No New Taxes, No On 204

October 4, 2012

No New Taxes, No on 204 Releases First Television Ad, “Temporary”

PHOENIX – Today, the No New Taxes, No on 204 committee released its first television advertisement titled, “Temporary.” The special interest groups that promised voters that the temporary sales tax increase would expire are now looking to create a permanent $1 billion a year tax increase making Arizona the second highest sales tax state in the nation. Arizona families were promised a temporary tax and can’t afford to fund special interest projects in a still struggling economy.


Script For “Temporary”:


VOICEOVER: “The special interests are back…with Prop 204”


Proposition 204

VOICEOVER: “Prop 204 makes those “temporary” tax increases permanent.”


Arizona Legislative Council, 8/23/12

VOICEOVER: “Prop 204 raises taxes one billion dollars a year.”




Proposition 204

VOICEOVER: “Not to support students, but to fund bigger bureaucracy…with no education reform…”


VOICEOVER: “…and with no guarantee the money will ever reach the classroom.”


The Tax Foundation, 7/31/12

VOICEOVER: “Prop 204 would give Arizona the second highest sales taxes in the US.”



VOICEOVER: “Check the facts for yourself, and vote no on Prop 204.”

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Paid for by No New Taxes, No on 204. Major funding by Americans for Responsible Leadership, Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company, the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, and the Arizona Chapter of NAIOP

Dr. Craig Barrett Speaks Out Against Prop 204


No New Taxes, No On Prop 204

October 02, 2012

Dr. Craig Barrett Speaks Out Against Prop 204

Former CEO and Chairman of Intel Corp. Shares Why $1 Billion More in Taxes Won’t Reach the Classrooms

PHOENIX – Dr. Craig Barrett has joined Governor Jan Brewer and State Treasurer Doug Ducey in their outspoken opposition to Prop 204. Barrett currently serves as BASIS School Inc.’s President and Chairman of the Board, and as Chairman of the Arizona Ready Education Council.

“If you’re looking to improve education, there are many systemic things we need to change like the introduction of the Arizona Common Core Standards, paying teachers based on their performance in the classroom, and helping failing schools to improve,”   said Dr. Barrett.  “Prop 204 throws money at education and numerous other special interest groups, but doesn’t tie that money to performance improvements. Unless we fix the system, we won’t see any improvement in results.  I also think sales taxes are the most regressive taxes we have; it puts more strain on the middle class and working poor than any other group. Prop 204 is bad for our economy, and if our recent history is any indication, these dollars will not make it to the classroom and lead to any improvement, like we’re always promised they will.”

Dr. Barrett has been committed to true education reform for a number of years. In 2001 he supported Prop 301, which created the Classroom Site Fund. In 2010, he supported Prop 100, which promised a temporary one cent sales tax increase. Prop 204 breaks that promise.

“Real education reform happens inside the classroom,” added Barrett. “Prop 204 doesn’t address the key areas that will make education better in Arizona. Our tax dollars need to be better focused on attracting, training, rewarding and retaining the best teachers in the nation – that’s what will get us the results we’re looking for.”

Craig Barrett joins a number of business organizations opposing the permanent $1 billion annual tax increase, including the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, North Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Arizona Small Business Association and the Arizona Retailers Association.

# # #

Paid for by No New Taxes, No on 204. Major funding by Americans for Responsible Leadership, Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company, the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, and the Arizona Chapter of NAIOP

Proposition 204 Hurts Arizona’s Middle Class and Low Income Families


Proposition 204 disproportionately hurts Arizona’s middle class and low income families

What is a regressive tax? Simply, if a taxes’ burden falls more on the middle class or the poor than those who are wealthy, the tax is considered regressive or disproportionately punitive on those who can least afford it.

Proposition 204 is the perfect example of a regressive tax, targeting those Arizona families that can least afford to pay more for the goods that they need. Proposition 204 makes Arizona’s “temporary” sales tax “permanent,” making Arizona the second highest sales taxed state in America. Incredibly, the only state that has a higher sales tax is Tennessee, a state with no income tax.

Proposition 204 is marketed for education, but the revenue raised is not required to go to teachers or the classroom. In fact, the measure is a grab bag for special interest groups, containing over $100 million dollars for public transit and roads. So, while Proposition 204 contains money for politically connected special interest groups, the revenue raised is coming from those who cannot afford to be politically connected.

By their very nature, sales taxes are regressive because expenses such as clothing, shelter, food, and other household goods tend to be the primary costs of a middle class and low income households’ budget.

That’s why opposition to Proposition 204 is coming from all sides, from those who know it is bad for business and job creation and from those who know it will hurt poor Arizona families. Why are we “permanently” raising taxes on those people who can least afford it? Why are we “permanently” increasing taxes during a time when Arizona’s unemployment rate is still high? Why are we raising taxes under the auspices of education, but sending that revenue to groups not related to education?

There is nothing more important than the education of our children. Arizonans want a bright future for their kids and improving education is an important priority. But, we need real education reforms, not permanently mandated tax increases devoid of independent oversight or accountability.

Proposition 204 is bad for Arizona middle class and low income families, it is bad for teachers, and it is bad for Arizona’s economy. We need to Vote No on Proposition 204.

To learn more about Proposition 204, please visit our Website or our Facebook Page for more information.

There is nothing more important than the education of our children. That is why we oppose Proposition 204, a broken promise to make Arizona’s temporary tax increase “permanent.” Proposition 204 brings a permanent, billion-dollar-per-year price tag to Arizona families. While raising your taxes, Proposition 204 provides no real reform and contains no real accountability.

Arizonans want a bright future for their kids and improving education is an important priority. Although wanting to improve education, throwing money at the problem is not the answer. We need real education reforms, not permanently mandated tax increases devoid of independent oversight.

Additionally, Proposition 204 was written by special interests for special interests.

While Arizonans continue to struggle, do we really want to continue to raise their tax burden? Are we willing to have the second highest sales tax in America?

Arizona needs real education reform and jobs. Proposition 204 will make Arizona less competitive while providing very little benefit to Arizona’s education system.

Proposition 204 is too taxing on Arizona families, Vote No on 204.


Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce opposes Prop 204

The below press release from the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is gratefully received. The number of organizations and individuals that oppose Proposition 204 is growing every day.

Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Opposes Prop 204

Press Release

September 25th, 2012

The Tucson Hispanic Chamber Board of Directors has voted to oppose Prop 204 – the Quality Education and Jobs Initiative. The chamber’s Business Advocacy Committee which is composed of members of the Chamber from Southern Arizona recommended opposition of the controversial initiative to the Board of Directors after hearing the pro debate and the con debate from the opposing sides of the argument. Tannya Gaxiola, the Chairwoman of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber expressed that “Our decision was not made lightly. We are concerned about the quality of Arizona’s education, the importance of a highly educated and trained workforce, and the challenge southern Arizona particularly faces in attracting , retaining and growing businesses to our State. We realize that this issue is of upmost importance to our small business community.”The initiative would make permanent the one cent sales tax that was passed two years ago. The Tucson Hispanic Chamber supported the temporary sales tax in 2010. “However, our members were concerned about the elimination of the promise to the business community of a temporary tax, the further tying of the hands of our elected officials who we have voted to represent us, and the broad scope and complexity of the initiative which includes infrastructure and public health along with education. “stated Lea Marquez Peterson, the President/CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber.Prop 204 would further hamper our elected representatives and make it challenging to have any flexibility during a budget crisis like the State experienced over the last two years. In addition, the passing of Prop 204 would mean that nearly two-thirds of state spending will be mandated by voters and that Arizona would have the second highest sales tax in the U.S. further impeding our ability to attract business to our state.

The Tucson Hispanic Chamber applauds the goal of reforming education and finds it worrisome that Arizona ranks near the bottom of all states in spending per pupil – $7,848 versus $10,615 nationwide, however, the Chamber is concerned that the initiative provides a permanent funding stream, throwing money at the problems without addressing possible efficiencies in education, State spending priorities, or providing sufficient accountability for results. The Tucson Hispanic Chamber Board of Directors believes that in order to improve the level of education funding in Arizona, voters should elect legislators who take that priority into consideration with all of the State’s other pressing needs.

POLL: Arizona Proposition 204 in Phoenix Business Journal

Phoenix Business Journal has posted a poll on Prop 204, asking “What do you think about the effort to continue a 1-cent sales tax for education?”

As of now, “NO” is winning by a margin of six points, but a strong showing in a survey like this can only help.

For more information, please visit our Facebook Page or our Website.

Proposition 204 is the Wrong Choice for Arizona Families

Proponents of Proposition 204 – the so-called Quality Education and Jobs Initiative – have hit the television airwaves with an ad that hides the measure’s wasteful spending and the special interests that back it.

In fact, a large portion of the funds will never see the classroom, but will be redirected to other projects unrelated to education spending.

With the usual appeal to helping the children, the ad hammers the point that the $1 billion a year permanent sales tax hike will put increased education funding out of the reach of state legislators. That is the fatal flaw in the measure. The peoples’ elected representatives will have nothing to say about how the money is spent.

If you read the measure, there is no accountability or oversight on how they money is to be spent either. The legislature will be “exempted” from meaningfully guarding against wasteful spending.

The direct appeal to voter emotions says that Proposition 204 will create a stable and permanent source of funding for K-12 classrooms. What it fails to say is that few of the dollars will actually reach the classroom and millions will go to programs that have nothing to do with education.

Glaringly absent from the ad is any mention of the $100 million a year subsidy that will go directly to road building and public transit. Including the construction industry in the taxpayer-funded payout is a clever way to get contractors to help finance the pro 204 campaign.

Also missing is any mention of funds sent to social service programs. Absent too is mention of the millions that will go to databases and monitoring that bypass the classroom.

Arizona needs real education reform. But Arizona has continued to invest in education, as Arizona’s education funding has increased over time. We have suffered two recessions since 2001 and consequently local and state tax revenue has changed.

Arizona needs transformative education reform and not higher taxes for special interest groups. Proposition 204 is too taxing on Arizona families, please Vote No on Prop 204.

For more information, please visit our Facebook Page.