Arizona Small Business Owners: No on 204

NFIB steadfast in opposition to new, permanent sales tax increase

PHOENIX, Ariz., Oct. 3, 2012—The National Federation of Independent Business today reaffirmed its long-held and principled opposition to raising Arizona’s sales tax rate to one of the highest in the nation by joining forces with the campaign to defeat Proposition 204.

“Arizona needs jobs and new investment, not higher taxes that rob taxpayers’ purchasing power and depress retail sales,” said Farrell Quinlan, Arizona state director for the National Federation of Independent Business. “Proposition 204 is a cynical money grab by government unions and special interests that seeks to exploit Arizonans’ sincere support for closing the achievement gap in our K-12 education system.”

Proposition 204 is an Arizona ballot measure that would increase Arizona’s state sales tax rate by 18 percent when the current temporary one-cent sales tax expires in June 2013. Its passage will cement Arizona’s sales tax rate as the second highest in the nation behind Tennessee—a state, unlike Arizona, with no income tax.

“Proposition 204 earmarks and diverts more than a billion dollars a year to a series of unaccountable and failed bureaucracies that for good measure includes a $100 million taste for a rabble of favored special interests. The children are the last thing Proposition 204 is for,” Quinlan said. “It provides no accountability or no real reform and little of the money will go to teachers and into the classroom where it is needed most.”

NFIB, the state’s leading small business association with 7,500 Arizona members, has consistently opposed efforts to raise Arizona’s transaction privilege (or sales) tax rate during these recessionary times with high unemployment. In 2010, the organization established its principled stance against raising taxes during this recession by opposing passage of Proposition 100, the temporary tax increase set to expire on May 31, 2013.

“One of the main reasons NFIB’s members opposed Proposition100 was their since-vindicated fear that the temporary tax would be converted into a permanent tax. Sadly, Proposition 204 proves their fears were justified.” Quinlan concluded. 

NFIB joins a growing list of business organizations supporting the Vote NO on 204 campaign. Visit www.VoteNOon204.com to learn more about Proposition 204.

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NFIB is the nation’s leading small-business advocacy association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small- and independent-business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB’s powerful network of grassroots activists send their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America’s free enterprise system. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. More information about NFIB is available online at www.NFIB.com/newsroom.

Arizona Proposition 204 is Bad Policy

Arizona Proposition 204

Arizona Proposition 204 is bad policy. A close look at the fine print in Proposition 204 reveals the true purpose of the initiative.

The measure creates 14 separate carve outs for special interest groups, creating a grab bag of taxpayer funded giveaways. While special interests are getting enriched, Arizona families will see a $1 Billion dollar PERMANENT tax increase. If passed, Arizona will become the second highest sales tax state in America, just behind Tennessee, a state with no income tax.

But, how does Proposition 204 reward politically connected groups? The device is a list of “designated funds” that would dictate how the money is spent. Students and teachers in the classroom are barely in the equation.

Arizonans need only to read the ballot language to see that Prop 204 is more about “pet projects” and less about improving the state’s education system.

CHAPTER 28

STATE INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING 
ARTICLE 1. ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR STATE INFRASTRUCTURE

28-9301. State infrastructure fund

A. THE STATE INFRASTRUCTURE FUND IS ESTABLISHED CONSISTING OF LEGISLATIVE APPROPRIATIONS, FEDERAL MONIES, PRIVATE GRANTS, GIFTS, CONTRIBUTIONS, DEVISES AND MONIES DEPOSITED IN THE FUND PURSUANT TO SECTION 42- 5029.02. MONIES IN THE FUND ARE CONTINUOUSLY APPROPRIATED TO THE DEPARTMENT FOR THE PURPOSES PRESCRIBED IN THIS SECTION AND ARE EXEMPT FROM THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 35-190 RELATING TO LAPSING OF APPROPRIATIONS.

That’s why Doug Ducey, Arizona’s State Treasurer said, “Prop 204 is genuinely bad policy. It makes a permanent, billion-dollar-a-year spending commitment; it provides for no oversight as to how the money is spent; and it makes no reforms that actually improve accountability or the quality of education. Prop 204 amounts to just throwing money at a problem and hoping that somehow, magically, things will just get better.”

Out of the $1 billion collected every year, only $125 million would go to the state’s general fund for “inflation adjustments” for K-12 education. Then the spending begins to disburse $875 million to the initiative’s pet projects through the designated funds.

  • The largest share, $500 million, goes to something called the quality education and performance fund to assist K-12 schools with “assessment and accountability” rules. Sounds good right? But the ballot language specifically uses the word “may use the monies.” There is no guarantee that they will be used effectively, again no oversight or accountability, just words on a page.
  • The state infrastructure fund gets $100 million for road-building and public transportation.
  • The family stability and self-sufficiency fund receives $100 million to support families living below the poverty level.

That takes care of $700 million projected for the designated funds. The first fund feeds bureaucratic record keeping. The second supports contractors and transportation subsidies. The third funds a social services program outside the purview of education.

The rest of the money — $175 million – goes to fund areas that again lack accountability and oversight.

To fund the $1 billion a year initiative, taxpayers will be forced to pay a one-cent increase in the state’s sales tax rate. The initiative forbids the Governor and State Legislature from any participation in spending the funds.

In fact, Prop 204 prevents the Auditor General, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee or the Governor’s Office from doing any performance audits on how the money raised is to be spent. So much for sunshine and accountability.

If Arizona wants long-term education reform, Proposition 204 is not the answer. Proposition 204 is just too taxing on Arizona families.

To learn more, please visit VoteNoOn204.com or Vote No on 204’s Facebook Page.

Jerry Weiers — Friend of Special Interests, Enemy of Glendale Taxpayers

Note to Readers:  This post is a repost and being reposted without any knowledge or approval by Shane.  This post was originally posted a few days ago but removed after Jerry’s campaign complained to their friends on 24th Street.  Seems certain Party leadership doesn’t believe in free speech anymore. They seem to believe it is ok to attack Republicans on this or another blog run by a certain county party chair as long as the posts don’t attack their sacred cows.

Jerry Weiers, a candidate for Glendale’s mayor, tries to hold himself out as a conservative.  But after reviewing his positions and legislative history, he is misleading the voters.  In reality, Jerry is a friend of special interests and an enemy of Glendale’s taxpayers.

Jerry claims to support lower taxes but vehemently opposes Glendale’s initiative to reverse the recently passed sales tax increase.  With this 0.7% tax increase, Glendale has the highest sales tax (10.2% on retail purchases; 11.2% on restaurants and bars) of any large city in the County.  Glendale currently has the third highest sales tax rate of the 107 largest cities in the country and became #1 with this increase.  Wouldn’t someone claiming to oppose tax increases be aghast and oppose this increase?

NOT Special Interest Jerry.  This $23 million sales tax increase will go towards paying Glendale’s $30+ million dollar a year subsidy to a special interest, the Phoenix Coyotes.  So Jerry thinks it’s OK for Glendale’s citizens to pay the highest sale tax in the county to subsidize professional hockey.  True fiscally conservatives oppose the sales tax increase that is being used to subsidize a pro hockey team.

While supporting a tax increase affecting Glendale’s citizenry and small businesses, Jerry does support an exception of the sales tax increase applying to two millionaire new car dealers in Glendale, one of whom doesn’t even want the special tax break.  Jerry thinks it is fine to give tax breaks to two millionaire new car dealers while raising taxes on groceries bought by Glendale taxpayers.   That’s Special Interest Jerry for you!!

But these positions by Jerry should not come as a surprise to anyone who followed his legislative career.  Overall, Jerry’s legislative career is unsurprisingly unaccomplished.  Jerry’s biggest accomplishment in his eight years at the Capital is his constant and persistent shakedowns of lobbyists and others at the Capital for money for the special interests he supports.  His constant shakedown of lobbyists became so blatant and offensive that another Republican state legislator introduced a bill last session to stop Jerry’s shakedowns.

Jerry claims to be a fiscal conservative – also a lie.  Jerry was recently graded as “Needs Improvement” by Americans for Prosperity, a leading fiscally conservative taxpayer’s group.

The proclivity of this current city council to give millions of taxpayer money to special interests has taken Glendaleto the brink of bankruptcy.  Does Glendale really want a new Mayor who will continue those policies that have made Glendalethe worst run city in Arizona?  Does Glendale really need another mayor who cares more about special interests than Glendale’s taxpayers and citizens?   Glendale needs a truly fiscally conservative mayor – and that’s not Jerry Weiers.