Representative Debbie Lesko: Why you should vote NO on Proposition 204

Why you should vote NO :

1. The citizens of Arizona were PROMISED that the sales tax increase would be TEMPORARY, NOT PERMANENT .

2. The Governor and legislature have ALREADY SET $450 MILLION ASIDE , just in case we need it when the temporary tax expires.

3. Citizens CAN’T AFFORD this. Combined sales tax rates in many Arizona cities are already HIGHER than in New York City and Los Angeles. The current combined sales tax rate in Phoenix is 9.3%; Glendale’s is 10.2%, and Buckeye is at 10.3%.

4. This initiative has DEVASTATING consequences. It will effectively STRIP AWAY the right of Arizona Citizens to provide input on future budget decisions. Right now the state legislature and Governor are required to balance the state budget. The public and agencies are able to testify and give public input. Instead of public input, this initiative puts huge portions of the state budget on auto-pilot driven by formulas. Between this and the Feds forcing us to spend more and more on free healthcare, our state will have little to no money left over for other important services to our public. Agencies, like state parks, may very well be left to hang out and dry.

5. Just like other well-meaning initiatives in the past, this initiative will COST TAXPAYERS EVEN MORE MONEY than the sales tax increase. The nonpartisan Joint Legislative Budget Committee estimates the sales tax increase from this initiative will cover the automatic inflation index tied to it until 2018. Where are we going to get the extra money needed to fund this thing in 7 years and beyond?

Debbie Lesko, State Representative, Majority Whip, Arizona House of Representatives, Glendale

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