Provider Taxes: The Medicaid Funding Scam

Medicaid is a complex and burdensome system, nationally covering 55 million low-income individuals, and costing taxpayers $400 billion per year. Watch the video below to find out how states work with providers to fleece federal taxpayers – that’s You! – by using “provider taxes” as an excuse to increase funding.

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#SayNOtoMedicaidDependency

Maricopa GOP Votes Down Medicaid Expansion in Arizona

March, 2013

A RESOLUTION OF THE EXECUTIVE GUIDANCE COMMITTEE (EGC) OF THE MARICOPA COUNTY REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE (MCRC) MARICOPA COUNTY, STATE OF ARIZONA

IN OPPOSITION TO

THE ARIZONA GOVERNOR’S PROPOSED EXPANSION OF MEDICAID (AHCCCS) IN SUPPORT OF OBAMACARE

WHEREAS, Arizona voters clearly expressed their will to reject implementation of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and the individual mandate by amending the Arizona Constitution in 2010 via the Arizona Health Insurance Reform Amendment, Proposition 106; and

WHEREAS, the “circuit breaker” clause is insufficient to prevent out of control escalation of enrollment and the long term costs will cause severe financial hardship on Arizona’s budget; and

WHEREAS, the “assessment” on hospitals is actually a tax and a disingenuous attempt to subvert Arizona’s Constitution and legislative process requiring tax increases receive supermajority approval in the legislature; and

WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court ruled that each State may reject the expansion of Medicaid and Insurance Exchanges, the two cornerstones of Obamacare, without which it collapses; and

WHEREAS, the best method to honor Arizona voters’ wishes to reject Obamacare is for each State to refuse implementation and allow Obamacare to fail; and

WHEREAS, supporting a government takeover of Arizona’s health care system, even to secure large amounts of federal funds, does not reflect the values of the Republican Party or the interests of the taxpayers of Arizona.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Executive Guidance Committee of the Maricopa County Republican Committee, Maricopa County, State of Arizona, does affirm and declare our opposition to the Governor’s plan to expand Medicaid; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED by the Executive Guidance Committee of the Maricopa County Republican Committee, Maricopa County, State of Arizona, demands that the Arizona State Legislators uphold the rule of law set forth by Proposition 108 requiring a supermajority vote in this matter; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED by the Executive Guidance Committee of the Maricopa County Republican Committee, Maricopa County, State of Arizona, demands that the Arizona State Legislators stand with the people of Arizona in opposition to the Governor’s plan to expand Medicaid by defeating any bill to such ends.

Author: Eric Morgan, Chairman, LD22 Republican Committee

PASSED & APPROVED this 7th day of March 2013, by a vote of 26 (ayes) to 2 (nays) to 0 (abstentions) of the Executive Guidance Committee of the Maricopa County Republican Committee, Maricopa County, State of Arizona.

MARICOPA COUNTY REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE

MARICOPA COUNTY, STATE OF ARIZONA:

A. J. LaFaro

________________________________________

by: A. J. LaFaro, Chairman

Maricopa County Republican Committee

[Download Resolution]

STOP Medicaid Expansion in Arizona!

Americans for Prosperity - Arizona

IMPORTANT ACTION ALERT!

To all Arizona Taxpayers and Health Care Consumers,

First, please register now for AFP-Arizona’s debate on the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion, which will take place from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm on Thursday, February 21 at the Goldwater Institute. To register, send an email here (For more info about the debate, scroll down.)

Gov. Jan Brewer and powerful lobbyists are pushing Arizona to impose statewide taxes, including a hospital bed tax, to fund an expansion of Medicaid (AHCCCS) under ObamaCare. It is vitally important for Arizona to stop the proposed Medicaid expansion, because the human and fiscal costs of that expansion would be enormous. TAKE ACTION NOW.

The most important issue in the Medicaid expansion is the human cost. If Arizona were to expand Medicaid, it would railroad at least 250,000 Arizonans into a low-quality, government-managed health insurance system. Medicaid patients not only have worse medical outcomes than patients with private insurance, but often have worse medical outcomes than low-income persons without insurance — even when they have the same medical conditions. Please go to http://tinyurl.com/gottliebwsj to learn more about this important issue.

But the proponents of the expansion are also trying to do an end-run around Prop 108, the most important taxpayer protection ever passed by Arizona voters. Thanks to Prop 108, the Arizona Constitution requires a two-thirds majority of the Legislature to raise taxes. But Medicaid expansion proponents want to allow unelected bureaucrats at AHCCCS to raise state taxes (mainly hospital bed taxes) by $369 million over the next three years — without a two-thirds vote of the Legislature! If Legislators use a simple majority to delegate to bureaucrats the authority to impose gigantic taxes on hospital patients, they will kill Prop 108 and destroy its protections for Arizona taxpayers. If that happens, we will blame those Legislators — not the lawyers and judges who help them carve out a gigantic loophole in Prop 108.

Gov. Brewer told Arizonans to “do the math” on the Medicaid expansion. With all due respect, she should do the same. According to Brewer’s projections, the Arizona Medicaid expansion would cause the (already bankrupt) federal government to spend $3.6 billion over the next three years alone. The people who will pay those taxes include most of the people of Arizona and — thanks to the federal debt — our children and grandchildren.

The current JLBC projection of $325 million per year in tax increases in 2016 (as bad as that is!) hides the actual future cost of the proposed taxes. By 2019, Arizona will have to pick up at least 10 percent of the cost of the expansion, which will be hundreds of millions of additional dollars annually. And the Obama Administration has already proposed several times to shift additional costs of the expansion to the States.

TAKE ACTION!

Please use this link to send a quick and easy email to your Legislators, asking them to resist the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion. At the very least, even if they are tempted to engage in short-term thinking and take a bunch of “free” money from Washington, legislators should comply with the voter-imposed constitutional requirement to raise taxes with a two-thirds majority.   

REGISTER FOR THE DEBATE!

Please register now for AFP-Arizona’s debate on the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion, which will take place from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm on Thursday, February 21 at the Goldwater Institute.

At the event, Michael Cannon of  the Cato Institute, Goldwater Institute health care policy analyst Christina Corieri, and Phoenix surgeon Jeff  Singer will take on any three pro-expansion advocates who want to debate these issues publicly. We have extended the invitation to debate to the Brewer Administration, to Brewer advisers Chuck Coughlin and Peter Burns, AHCCCS director Tom Betlach, Democratic Legislators, and members of the hospital and insurance lobbies. All concerned citizens who wish to attend the debate should RSVP here.

LEARN MORE!

For more about the problems with the proposed Medicaid expansion, read AFP-Arizona’s line-by-line refutation of Gov. Brewer’s pro-expansion arguments in her January 14 speech.

For Liberty,

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director, Americans for Prosperity

WSJ – Governor Brewer’s Spectacular Flip-Flop

The GOP’s ObamaCare Flippers

Reprinted from The Wall Street Journal

February 4, 2013

As D-Day looms for ObamaCare, one big question is how many states will sign up for its Medicaid expansion. The recent and spectacular flip-flop of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is a case study in the political pressure and fiscal gimmicks designed to get states to succumb. It’s also a study in the arcane and perverse ObamaCare incentives that are intended to gather ever more health-care spending under federal control.

***

Arizona’s current Medicaid program is well run by the program’s standards—a low bar—but it is also too large. The program now finances one of every two in-state births and two of every three days seniors spend in nursing homes. Spending tripled in the last decade to $9 billion a year.

That’s despite $1.8 billion in cuts since 2009. The state fisc was such a mess that in 2010 Arizona Medicaid banned paying for several types of organ transplants. In March of that year, Ms. Brewer wrote to Mr. Obama calling the Affordable Care Act “a vast new entitlement program that our country does not have the resources to support” and also one that “makes our situation much worse, exacerbating our state’s fiscal woes by billions of dollars.”

Arizona argued before the Supreme Court that the Medicaid mandate was unconstitutional, anti-federalist commandeering—and seven Justices agreed it was “a gun to the head” and allowed states to opt out without penalty.

But so much for that. In her State of the State address last month, Ms. Brewer pulled a political 180°—or maybe 540°—and said expanding Medicaid would “inject $2 billion into our economy and “save and create thousands of jobs.” (Is Larry Summers moonlighting as a Brewer speechwriter?)

One secret of her switcheroo is Medicaid’s “matching rate” formula, in which the feds pick up 67% of Arizona’s existing spending and 100% (and later 90%) of the costs of ObamaCare’s newly eligible population. The state supposedly no longer needs to spend “billions” but merely an extra $154 million in 2014—then bank $1.6 billion from Washington, which her budget documents call “a return on investment of more than 10-to-1.”

Associated PressArizona Governor Jan Brewer

How can the state conjure such money from nothing? The answer is that Ms. Brewer and Arizona hospitals have cooked up a spending scheme to rip off national taxpayers to avoid even the $154 million the state would at first pay. The hospital lobby first floated this scheme in 2011 “for the specific purpose of generating matching federal Medicaid funds.”

Here’s how it works: Arizona will tax hospitals and insurers for the $154 million. Then it will return $154 million to the health industry via more Medicaid business that will cover the cost of the tax and then some. The money needs to make a round trip from providers to the state and back to providers to game that 67% federal matching rate.

So Arizona takes (say) $3 from a hospital and then turns around and pays the $3 back, using one of the hospital’s own dollars that Arizona converted to “revenue” plus two dollars courtesy of Washington for its 67% federal share of the $3 payment. Arizona can then use the hospital’s remaining $2 of the original $3 to pay for another $6 of Medicaid expansion.

Some 49 state now use this trick of so-called provider taxes to goose federal spending, up from 21 in 2003. (Alaska is the exception.) But the practice is so abusive that even Mr. Obama proposed new limits in his last two budgets.

This subsidy honeypot can’t last forever, which is why other Governors are more skeptical about this Obama Medicaid windfall. When the money inevitably runs out, states will retain permanently larger obligations and lose budget autonomy for a generation or two as health care crowds out other priorities like education and roads.

Ms. Brewer was nonetheless besieged by health-industry lobbying, especially from hospitals that want more government money and the insurers that administer Medicaid. The campaign is orchestrated by Chuck Coughlin, Ms. Brewer’s former political strategist, and Peter Burns, a former Brewer budget consultant.

Providers are especially powerful at the state and local level, and the goal now is to rush the Brewer-Obama condominium through the Phoenix legislature with little debate. A particular offender is the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association, a trade group whose 2012 agenda includes “Oppose Taxpayer Bill of Rights-style legislative referendums or bills that arbitrarily limit state spending.”

Ms. Brewer’s other rationale is that everybody else is doing it, and that if Arizona opts out of a larger Medicaid then “Arizona’s tax dollars would simply be passed to another state.” Well, no, Washington would simply spend less money that it doesn’t have. In any event Arizona is already a net tax beneficiary—pulling down $1.19 from the feds for every dollar it sends to D.C., according to the Tax Foundation.

Ten other GOP Governors have rejected Mr. Obama’s Medicaid bribe, with another 20, Democrats and Republicans, undecided. Twenty are expanding, including Republicans Brian Sandoval of Nevada, Susana Martinez of New Mexico, Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota and even, on Monday, Ohio’s John Kasich. Thus does modern government create the carrots and sticks of ever-larger government.

 

 

Victory! We Beat the Arizona Obamacare Exchange!

AFP Arizona

Dear Arizona Taxpayer:

The Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity is grateful to Governor Jan Brewer for rejecting the state-funded ObamaCare/PPACA Exchange and thereby protecting Arizona businesses, taxpayers and health care consumers.  As Governor Brewer noted in her news release on the topic, a state-funded Exchange would be very expensive for Arizona taxpayers, and the federal government “would maintain control over virtually every aspect of our Exchange.”

AFP-Arizona is also grateful to all of the Arizona Legislators who stood their ground against the state-funded Exchange in the face of intense lobbying pressure from corporate interests that had been bought off by ObamaCare’s system of government mandates and subsidies.  Further, AFP-Arizona is grateful to its donors for supporting usthrough this long fight, and we are grateful for the policy advice afforded to us by members of our coalition, including the Goldwater Institute and the Cato Institute.  Finally, and most importantly, AFP-Arizona is grateful to the thousands of grassroots activists in Arizona who took action against the Arizona Exchange by writing emails, making phone calls, and confronting elected officials at public meetings — more than anything else, their activism won this battle.

The fight to contain and control the wide-ranging damage of the ObamaCare legislation is far from over, and AFP-Arizona is now ready to fight ObamaCare’s hugely expensive (but optional!) Medicaid expansion here in Arizona.  But it’s important to take the time to celebrate our victories, so we will soon send out an invitation for an upcoming Victory Party for all of the activists and elected officials who fought the ObamaCare exchange.  At the party, we will also celebrate the decisive victory of Arizona taxpayers over the Prop 204 sales tax hike on the November 6 ballot.

And on the topic of Prop 204, AFP-Arizona wishes to express our deep gratitude to Governor Brewer for taking a firm stance against the permanent one-cent sales tax hike.  Governor Brewer promised Arizonans in 2010 that her intention was for the Prop 100 sales tax hike to be a temporary expedient, and she kept her promise.

For Liberty,

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity
www.aztaxpayers.org
tjenney@afphq.org

Governor Jan Brewer Refuses to Burden Arizona Families and Small Business Through Health Care Exchanges

Statement by Governor Brewer
Too Many Questions, Costs with State Health Exchange

Today, I notified the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that the State of Arizona will not create a state-based Health Exchange. This decision comes following an extensive research and outreach process during which my team of health advisors conducted public hearings and met with HHS, patient advocates and representatives of Arizona hospitals, health providers, insurers, tribal groups and other members of the health care community.

This has been one of the more difficult decisions of my career in public service. My opposition to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unwavering, as is my belief that it should be repealed and replaced with legislation that achieves its stated goals: to improve access to quality, affordable health care in this country. But I am also aware that the ACA remains the law of the land. Likewise, though I am a steady advocate of local control, I have come to the conclusion that the State of Arizona would wield little actual authority over its ‘state’ Exchange. The federal government would maintain oversight and control over virtually every aspect of our Exchange, limiting our ability to meet the unique needs of Arizonans and the Arizona insurance market.

A state Exchange would be costly. Though the federal government has pledged to pay nearly all startup costs, states that form their own health exchanges are on the hook for operational expenses beginning in 2015. Those costs could total $27 million to $40 million annually for the State of Arizona, according to a recent study conducted by Mercer. Of course, these expenses would be passed along in the form of fees resulting in higher health premiums for Arizona families and small businesses. This would be an additional financial burden at a time when so many Arizonans are still struggling.

Lastly, there simply remains too much we don’t know about how a State-based Exchange would function and its ultimate cost to taxpayers. Without clear federal guidance and instruction, I cannot in good conscience commit the taxpayers of my state to this costly endeavor.

The State of Arizona has a long history of health care innovation. Our Medicaid program, AHCCCS, has been a national model of cost-efficient care for three decades, and our pioneering pursuit of integrated health is designed to improve the quality of life for Arizonans living with serious mental illness. In this proud tradition, I remain committed to working with legislators to enact State reforms that improve care and reduce costs for Arizona families, while maintaining a vibrant and competitive health care marketplace.

Read the statement here.

We can stop ObamaCare in Arizona!

AFP Arizona

Dear Arizona Taxpayer:

On behalf of the Goldwater Institute, the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, the Arizona chapter ofAmericans for Prosperity, and lots of other great organizations, I am asking you to TAKE ACTION to encourage your Legislators to remain strong in resisting the attempts by Governor Jan Brewer and insurance lobbyists to impose an ObamaCare insurance exchange on Arizona families and businesses.

We have REALLY GOOD NEWS for taxpayers and health care freedom fighters: ObamaCare’s government takeover of American health care is vulnerable in the States. Click here to read a short summary of how States can stand against both the ObamaCare exchanges and the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion. Rather than rolling out the welcome mat for ObamaCare, Arizona needs to work for greater health care freedom. For more, read the Goldwater Institute’s briefing paper on alternatives to ObamaCare.

Under the ObamaCare legislation, States are under no obligation to set up exchanges.  Here are three quick reasons for Arizonans to join us in resisting the imposition of a state-funded exchange:

1) By stopping the exchange, we will stop government from using taxpayer dollars to subsidize private insurance companies.

2) By stopping the exchange, we will keep the exchange from reporting to the IRS individuals who have or do not have health insurance — as required by the ObamaCare legislation.

3) By stopping the exchange, we can prevent Arizona businesses from having to pay a $2,000 fine per worker per year and exempt tens of thousands of Arizonans from the individual mandate’s tax of $2,085 per year for a family of four.

We can win this one!  Nine States have already rejected exchanges: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

Please TAKE ACTION to encourage your Legislators to remain strong in resisting the imposition of an ObamaCare insurance exchange on the state of Arizona.

For Liberty, Tom

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity
www.aztaxpayers.org
tjenney@afphq.org

Hugh Hewitt: Memo to the States’ Governors and AGs on The Decision On Obamacare’s Exchanges: Go Churchill Or Go Home

By Hugh Hewitt
So brilliant needed to be reposted from Townhall.com.

With the president mobilizing for a barnstorming tour in support of massive tax hikes and to, in effect, overturn last week’s vote to keep the House in GOP hands and the gavel in John Boehner’s –details here on the president’s plan– the GOP is getting organized in the House and laying down markers.

The media is focused on speculation about the “big deal” and the various scandals, but a huge story is brewing that few are watching.

The deadline for the most important political and legal decisions of the near term is being made in every state: Whether or not to establish a state health insurance exchange pursuant to Obamacare. The original deadline for each governor to decide was this Friday, but HHS has graciously given the states another month to decide which poison to pick: Subservience via establishment of a puppet exchange or takeover of the state’s insurance business via a big foot federal health exchange. The rules the feds have dictated the states must follow in making their choice are here.

Yesterday, Governor Robert Bentley of Alabama announced that Alabama would not be establishing the exchange or expanding Medicaid. The latter is not surprising, as the expansion will quickly eat away at state budgets.

But Bentley’s position on the exchange –he joins at least Alaska, Florida and Texas in just saying no– is very welcome and hopefully a model for other Republican governors who must by law indicate their decisions on the exchange set-up by mid-December. Other states ought also to study the example set by Oklahoma, and sue to overturn the Hobbesian choice on exchanges being forced on them.

Only one state lawsuit against the forced choice on health exchanges has been filed –by the Sooners’ AG, and the amended complaint is here– and the national opposition to Obamacare should be looking for other governors to say no and other attorneys general to file similar challenges to the health exchange jam down.

The amended complaint of the State of Oklahoma argues in crucial part:

 

II. The New Claims 

8. In addition to that claim, Plaintiff raises new claims seeking declaratory and injunctive relief with respect to final federal regulations (the “Final Rule”) that were issued under Internal Revenue Code Section 36B, as added by Section 1401 of the Act, while proceedings in this action were stayed. The Final Rule was issued in contravention of the procedural and substantive requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act (“the APA”), 5 U.S.C. § 702; has no basis in any law of the United States; and directly conflicts with the unambiguous language of the very provision of the Internal Revenue Code it purports to interpret.

9. More specifically, Sections 1311 and 1321(c) of the Act allows States to choose to establish an “American Health Benefit Exchange” to operate in the State to facilitate execution of the Act’s key provisions. If a State elects not to establish an Exchange under Section 1311, Section 1321(b) authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services to create an Exchange to operate in that state.

10. Under the Act, this choice has important consequences for the State’s people and the State’s economy, because health insurance premium tax credits for low-income employed individuals and employer obligations under the Act both depend on which alternative the State chooses. If the State elects to establish its own Exchange, the Federal Government will make “advance payments” of premium tax credits to insurance companies on behalf of some of the State’s residents to subsidize health insurance enrollment through the State-created Exchange, but the payment of the subsidy for even one employee triggers costly obligations on the part of the employer that would not be triggered in a non-electing State, placing the electing State at a competitive disadvantage for jobs and job growth.

11. The Act leaves this policy judgment to each State and provides a mechanism for each State to choose the alternative it thinks is better for its people. The Final Rule upsets this balance by providing, contrary to the Act, that qualifying taxpayers are eligible for premium tax credits and “advance payments” if they enroll for health insurance through the Exchange where they live, regardless of whether it is a State-established Exchange or an HHS-established Exchange. Thus, if the Final Rule is permitted to stand, federal subsidies will be paid under circumstances not authorized by the Congress; employers will be subjected to liabilities and obligations under circumstances not authorized by Congress; and States will be deprived of the opportunity created by the Act to choose for itself whether creating a competitive environment to promote economic and job growth is better for its people than access to federal subsidies.

12. Oklahoma has not established or elected to establish an Exchange, and does not expect to do so. As a result, under the plain terms of the Act, employers in Oklahoma should not be subject to the Employer Mandate because of a determination that an Oklahoma resident employed by the employer in Oklahoma is entitled to advance payment of a premium tax credit because of enrolling for coverage through an Exchange established by HHS to operate in Oklahoma. However, the Final Rule purports to make such an individual eligible for a premium tax credit based on enrolling for coverage through an Exchange established by HHS to operate in Oklahoma, with the result that an Oklahoma employer employing such an individual will be exposed to liability under the Employer Mandate under circumstances not provided for under the Act. Thus, Plaintiff seeks declaratory and injunctive relief declaring the Final Rule invalid.

 

This is a narrow argument aimed at a specific rule, but there are other arguments to make, including the damage done to federalism when, upon saying no, the enormous supertanker of Obamacare sails into a state’s legal harbor via the federal exchange and smashes all the docks and other ships, displacing not merely the opportunity to run an exchange but destroying countless other state-administered relationships and regulatory balances.

States have to defend themselves against the giant takeover of states’ powers and duties by Obamacare. The decision to “just say no” so has to be taken by mid-December. Encourage your governor to say no and to sue alongside of Oklahoma, perhaps engaging one of the country’s leading experts on structural federalism like Georgetown’s Randy Barnett or my own colleague at Chapman John Eastman to make the arguments to preserve the state’s legislative integrity and their independence from D.C. Not only is this the right way to proceed for a state intent on protecting its citizens from an ever-expanding federal government, it may also present the Supreme Court with a second bite at the Obamacare apple via a different set of issues not dependent on the “is the penalty a tax” debate.

Some states are tired of the fight and their law departments not eager to spend another year battling the DOJ.

But that isn’t their choice. That choice belongs to their governor and their attorney general. Those who don’t choose to fight now cannot expect conservatives to fight for them in the future. Go Churchill or go home.

The status of states’ decision-making on the exchanges is reviewed on a state-by-state basis here.

The left is attempting to declare the Obamacare fight over. It isn’t. It is a 15 round fight. Conservatives won rounds when they elected Chris Christie, Bob McDonnell and then Scott Brown after the debate was begun. The left won a round when the law passed was passed, and it won a round when the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate, but conservatives won in that opinion as well, on Medicaid and on the reach of the Commerce Clause.

The left scored a knock-down with the president’s re-election, but the fight isn’t over if the conservatives opposed to the law get up off the canvas and fight on. Oklahoma has, and some states have joined them, though not yet in the courts. They should, and soon. Obamacare was nightmare before the election, and it is a nightmare still. The president’s re-election was manifestly not about Obamacare, and the decision is not final and won’t be until every good argument is made and every opportunity given the Supreme Court to review the law in full.

Even if the legal fight should fail, it is important for federalism that many states pass on becoming puppets of the feds via the state exchanges. The fiasco-in-waiting of the federal exchange should be on the president’s head, with blame not easily shifted to bungling governors. The president broke it, so he should buy and operate it.

But only after every argument has been made, and the Supreme Court offered the opportunity to rule on the law as a whole.

ACT NOW to stop the Prop 204 Tax Hike

AFP Arizona

URGENT Action Items Below

Dear Arizona Taxpayer,

AFP-Arizona Needs YOU to help us defeat Proposition 204!

While current polling shows that Arizona voters are prepared to reject the Prop 204 tax hike on Tuesday, we must keep the heat turned up in the last days before the election.

The facts on Proposition 204 are simple:  It makes the temporary sales tax increase PERMANENT, which would cost Arizona taxpayers an additional $1 billion per year and potentially cost the state 15,000 jobs.  Arizona families are already hurting in a bad economy, and this is worst time to raise taxes and harm economic growth. Prop 204 also provides an already bloated education bureaucracy – Arizona’s total education spending has increased over 60% in the last decade, even as a smaller percentage of funds has gone to the classroom – with even more money, while failing to provide real reform to Arizona’s education system.

PLEASE TAKE ACTION!

AFP-Arizona is asking you to do the following:[1]

• Take whatever NO on 204 yard signs you may have to your nearest polling location on Monday night (Nov 5).

• Take any extra NO on 204 yard signs you may have to key polling locations (use the email below to ask Bill where your closest key locations are).

• Hand out anti-204 literature at your nearest polling place on Tuesday (use the email below to ask Bill for a printable version of AFP-AZ’s anti-204 talking points).

•  Per Arizona law, no materials (yard signs, literature, etc.) may be distributed or placed within 75 feet of polling locations.

Please contact Bill Fathauer AS SOON AS POSSIBLE at 480-332-0477 orbfathauer@afphq.org to volunteer for these actions.  (If you contact Bill today, or over the weekend, you will help us reduce our workload on Monday and Tuesday.)  Even if you can only volunteer for an hour or two, your help will be vital in stopping a massive tax hike that will damage the Arizona economy.

Thank you and keep up the good fight!

For Liberty, Tom

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity
tjenney@afphq.org
(602) 478-0146



[1]AFP-Arizona is independently asking its activists to take these actions to oppose Proposition 204. AFP-Arizona is not a sponsor of the No on 204 campaign, nor is it acting in coordination with the No New Taxes, No on 204 ballot committee.

No New Taxes, No on 204 Releases “5 Reasons”

No on 204

PHOENIX — No New Taxes, No on 204 today released its newest television advertisement titled, “5 Reasons.” Business and community leaders across the state all agree that the $1 billion permanent sales tax burden that Prop 204 will place on hardworking families and small business owners is bad public policy. Although there are 100 things wrong with the initiative, the top five reasons are highlighted in this 30 second spot.

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Script For “5 Reasons:”

VIDEO TEXT: 5 REASONS TO VOTE NO ON PROP 204

VIDEO TEXT: 1 – LARGEST PERMANENT TAX INCREASE IN ARIZONA HISTORY
1 BILLION DOLLARS EVERY YEAR

ANNOUNCER: “5 reasons to vote no on Prop 204. 204 is the largest permanent tax increase in Arizona’s history.”

VIDEO TEXT: 2 – SECOND HIGHEST SALES TAXES IN AMERICA

ANNOUNCER: “Arizona would have the second highest sales taxes in America.”

VIDEO TEXT: 3 – NO EDUCATION REFORM

ANNOUNCER: “Groups all across Arizona say 204 has no education reform.”

VIDEO TEXT: 4 – WRITTEN BY SPECIAL INTERESTS IN SECRET

ANNOUNCER: “204 was written by special interests in secret.”

VIDEO TEXT: 5 – ARIZONA REPUBLIC STRONGLY OPPOSES

ANNOUNCER: “And The Republic opposes 204 saying it:

“…is bad public policy…burdening the poor far more than the well-to-do…”

VIDEO TEXT: VOTE NO ON PROP 204

VoteNOon204.com

ANNOUNCER: “Vote No on 204.”

To learn more about Proposition 204, please visit www.VoteNoOn204.com.

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Five Reasons to Vote NO on Proposition 204

The No New Taxes, No on 204 campaign committee released the following new ad this morning. The ad takes 30 seconds to describe five reasons why Arizona voters should vote NO on the proposition.

YouTube Preview Image

 

Proposition 204 is More Trick than Treat

No on 204

Dear Friends,

Over a year ago, proponents of Prop 204 thought that their special interest funded ballot initiative would pass without protest. Now, as the campaign heads into its final week, Prop 204, the $1 Billion dollar permanent tax increase, is more unpopular than ever.

Proponents of Prop 204 thought their taxpayer giveaway would go unchallenged, but because of you, polls are showing that Arizonans are not interested in an initiative that does not promise real reform, accountability, or oversight. The message that Prop 204 is bad for Arizona families and business is spreading throughout the state.

We are grateful for the momentum that has been created by community activists, elected officials, and business leaders who have publicly opposed and continue to fight this horribly misguided ballot initiative.

The coalition to defeat Prop 204 grows by the day. The list is made even more impressive by your continuous support and effort. Even the Arizona Republic agrees:
“While the intention may be laudable, the likely unintended consequences of Prop. 204, the largest permanent tax increase in state history, are deeply worrisome.”
Please join US Senator Jon Kyl, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, and over 45-mayors and city councilmembers from across the state by voting NO on Prop 204 on November 6.

No On<br /><br />
204
We need your help! Please, take your No on Prop 204 yard sign and place it at your polling location the night before the election or the morning of the election.

Lastly, let your family, neighbors, and coworkers know about how Prop 204 actually does very little for education, but fills the pockets of politically connected special interests.

We need to finish strong; we need to defeat Prop 204 and send the message that we want real education reform. Thank you for your continued support!

Thank you,

DonateDoug Ducey
Doug Ducey
Chairman – No New Taxes, No on Prop 204

Statement from City of Mesa Mayor Scott Smith on Arizona Proposition 204

Scott Smith

Mesa Mayor Scott Smith

Education has always been a major part of my life. My father, Dr. George N. Smith, was a highly respected teacher and school superintendent here in Arizona for over 35 years. As the superintendent of one of the largest school districts, my father lived education – at the dinner table, at church, even at the grocery store. During his tenure, Mesa’s schools were considered to be among the finest in the nation.

I grew up knowing that quality education was the key to success. That’s why, even as a struggling family, my wife and I made sacrifices so that I could go to law school. That’s also why education has been a key part of my HEAT (Healthcare, Education, Aerospace, Tourism/Technology) initiative in Mesa.

So far, we have had a great deal of success with this initiative. We’ve increased opportunities in higher education by bringing five new colleges to our downtown. We’ve built stronger relationships with ASU Polytechnic, MCC, AT Still and others. We’ve teamed up with Mesa Public Schools to develop a plan to turn underused space into youth sports facilities with the passage of Mesa’s Question 1. I am also pleased to be part of the Mayor’s Roundtable on Education.

I wholeheartedly believe that educating our children is the most important investment we can make in Arizona, and we should expect nothing short of excellence in our educational system. I have seen firsthand how critical quality education is to creating economic opportunities. I have long supported efforts to provide adequate funding for our schools and colleges, expand parental choice, encourage innovation, improve teacher training, and demand accountability.

During this recession, many Arizonans have expressed their displeasure with the manner in which State leaders have handled educational funding priorities. Prop 204 is a product built from this frustration. Unfortunately, it is a flawed product; and, is bad public policy.

Prop 204 imposes a permanent fix for what is most likely a short-term problem. All too often, these inflexible changes become outdated as the world changes. Rather than curing the actual ailment, these solutions end up merely easing the pain for a short time. They then often prohibit substantive reforms that would have a more lasting impact. Prop 204 may even reward the status quo, which will also inhibit real changes in school financing or performance. This will not inspire the kind of transformational reforms that our children need and deserve.

In its attempt to solve one problem, Prop 204 will also simply shift financial challenges from one area of government to another. And, the changes in Prop 204 will make it more difficult, if not impossible to achieve much needed overall state tax reform.

Arizonans should demand real solutions from our leaders to the challenges we face. Prop 204 not only fails to solve these challenges, it will keep us from making the changes we need to improve our educational system. Please join me in voting No on Prop 204. Let’s then work together to make Arizona’s schools the best in America!

LD10 senate candidate David Bradley insults Military & Defense Workers

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On the Arizona Illustrated Debate, on October 18th David Bradley, who is running for the LD10 Senate, shows blatant hostility to the veteran and business community in Southern Arizona.

The very first question posed to Frank Antenori and David Bradley was “Has the state done enough to stimulate the economy and grow jobs?”

Senator Antenori articulated the successes of the 2010 legislative sessions, “The government doesn’t create jobs, the private sector creates jobs. We create the conditions for success and I think we have done it.”

David Bradley reveals his hostility towards veterans and job creators by responding, “The notion that government doesn’t create jobs is interesting when you have somebody who gets three paychecks, all government related in some fashion, in terms of retirement from his military service, as a state employee and the entity that he works for has government contracts that fund much of their work.”

Frank did not let this insult to his veteran constituents, personal friends and soldiers that he fought beside, and the largest employer in Southern Arizona go unopposed and unanswered,

“The narrative is being created by my opponent and his allies is that somehow being a member of the armed services, I spent 20 years in the military, and if you want to equate a “government check” as you would get from sort of a welfare handout of some kind to a check that you get sitting on the side of a mountain in Afghanistan chasing al-Qaeda and the Taliban I dare you to make that association.”

“To say that I am living off the government is an insult to the members of this community that served in the military and that work in the Aerospace Defense Industry that are huge contributors to our national defense and economy and it is insulting that they continue to make that association.”

Frank was personally targeted by the “Independent” Redistricting Committee and the democrats. They do not want him to return to the Capitol. LD10 has a Democrat registration advantage but Frank Antenori has proven he cares about the people of Southern Arizona and is willing to take the political hits that sometimes come with doing the right thing.

 

 

Don’t make us like California! Vote NO on 204!

Arizona State Treasurer Doug Ducey Explains Why Arizonans Should Vote NO on Prop 204

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Watch as Arizona State Treasurer details why Arizona voters should vote NO on Proposition 204 – the $1 BILLION permanent sales tax increase that funds special interest and more big government.

Prop 204 a giveaway to the construction industry

By Graydon Holt

You have to hand it to the construction industry companies in Arizona that builds roads and public transit. They found a clever way to grab millions in taxpayer money every year without answering to the state legislators elected to spend public funds.

Vote No on 204

Vote NO on 204!

Proposition 204 is their route to riches. The Proposition would raise at least $1 billion a year by installing a one-cent permanent increase in the state sales tax rate. About $100 million a year would go to the construction industry. The proposition supporters claim that funds for education are somehow linked to jobs, meaning construction jobs.

This is a stretch beyond recognition. Voters all over Arizona must be scratching their heads and asking what in the world roads and light rail have to do with improving student performance in the classroom.The answer, of course, is nothing. Proposition 204 supporters say only that their tax and spend scheme will help the state economy. Well-built and maintained roads and transit certainly help Arizona’s economy. But they should not be linked to education spending.

The construction industry got this sweetheart deal by pledging to help pay for the Proposition 204 campaign. A $100 million a year subsidy paid by taxpayers is a good deal in exchange for a campaign contribution. Voters should cancel the deal and vote no on Proposition 204.

Read other posts by Graydon Holt at Western Free Press