Taxpayer Group Blasts Gov. Brewer’s Proposed Tax Increase

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MARCH 5, 2009

Taxpayer Group Blasts Gov. Brewer’s Proposed Tax Increase

AFP Arizona: Billion-dollar tax hike would hurt families and businesses

PHOENIX – The Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity (AFP Arizona) today criticized Gov. Jan Brewer’s proposal to raise state taxes by a billion dollars, saying that a recession is the worst time to take more money away from struggling families and businesses.

“What Arizona really needs right now is firm leadership in the mold of Margaret Thatcher,” said AFP Arizona director Tom Jenney. “That is not what Gov. Brewer gave us yesterday.”

In response to Brewer’s invocation of Ronald Reagan’s 1967 decision to raise taxes, when he was governor of California, Jenney responded, “Reagan didn’t raise taxes during a recession. Herbert Hoover did that. So did George H.W. Bush.”

In her speech yesterday before a special joint session of the Legislature, Brewer proposed that the Legislature send two referenda to voters in a special election. One would be the billion-dollar tax increase. The other, which AFP Arizona supports, would allow the Legislature to make reductions to voter-mandated spending programs.

Because of single-subject rules, the two proposals would have to go to the ballot separately. The state’s spending lobbies, which stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars if voter-mandated spending is reformed, will likely spend millions of dollars on advertising campaigns to pass the tax increase and to defeat the spending reform.

“We pledge to mobilize our grassroots army to fight the tax increase,” said AFP Arizona chairman Chad Kirkpatrick. “But the state could very easily end up with a gigantic tax increase, and no reforms of voter-protected spending.”

AFP Arizona also called the Governor’s plan for $1 billion in spending cuts “not nearly enough,” and recommended that she and Legislature start with the FY2010 options budget submitted January 15 by the legislative appropriations chairmen. That budget plan called for $2.2 billion in spending reductions.

“If the Legislature starts by trying to cut $1 billion, we will be lucky to end up with $500 million in actual reductions,” said Kirkpatrick. “They should start with $2.2 billion, and fight hard to keep that from getting whittled down by the spending lobbies and special interests.”

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and scope of government is the best safeguard to ensuring individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFP educates and engages citizens in support of restraining state and federal government growth, and returning government to its constitutional limits. For more information, visit www.americansforprosperity.org


Comments

  1. Veritas Vincit says

    I wish the HE*L they’d stop calling it “the Governor’s tax increase”!!

    Which of course they won’t.

    It takes leadership to put such an option to the voters. Especially since everyone is in this mess together and, it was the previous members of the legislature and their Nappy governor who got us to this point.

    Allow the cuts
    Vote on a tax increase

    Perfectly fair.

  2. I’d like to see what they are cutting in their first billion before they go for even more cuts. We need plans people.

    TELL US YOUR PLAN TO FIX ARIZONA NOW!

    You want to cuts $2.2 billion, tell us now so we have a chance to look it over. Hold some hearings.

  3. Who is Fix Arizona? says

    I suspect that “Fix Arizona” is a liberal Democrat masquerading as just another interested citizen or Republican. But if you look at their blog and twitterfeed, it sounds like some leftist pretending to be Republican to stir things up. Go away.
    http://fixarizona.wordpress.com/
    http://twitter.com/fixarizona

  4. I admire AFP and what they do, but I’d say it’s more likely (despite the risk politically and in practice) that the Brewer team is shooting for exactly the opposite — the tax increase gets shot down, but the voter protection stuff gets suspended. It’s the only way for the suspension of the voter protection spending to get any traction at all with the crazies who want to keep it in place. Brewer keeps her pledge that everything is on the table, so she can play the honest broker.

  5. “Fix Arizona” is asking the right question(s)–What cuts? What tax increases? Particularly “what cuts” is pertinent if you’re against a temporary tax increase or do not want to take stimulus money because that means you’ll probably need to cut a third of the state budget.

    Also, Governor Brewer is doing the right thing by asking all of the agencies to indicate what would be cut within their agencies if they lost 5%, 10%, 15%, 20% of their budgets–then she can make informed choices regarding what percentage to cut from each agency and prioritize with a scalpel instead of blindly/ignorantly using a machete of across the board same percentage cut for each agency.

  6. Americans for Tax Reform also came out strongly against Gov. Brewer’s tax hike proposal. Here’s the link to the press statement: http://www.atr.org/arizona-spending-interestsbr-sit-throne-lies-a2970 .

    Gov. Brewer was also a signer of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge as Secretary of State. Here’s a pdf of the Pledge she signed: http://www.atr.org/userfiles/Brewer_Pledge(1).pdf.

    The Pledge is a promise by an official to his/her constituents to oppose and vote against any and all tax increases.

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