Arizona Education Network Newsletter
Proposition 100 Under Attack: Check Out the Facts
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Proposition 100 Under Attack:
Check Out the Facts
With the start of early voting on April 22, opponents of Proposition 100 - the temporary one-percent sales tax increase - have stepped up their attacks. The Arizona Education Network supports Proposition 100 not because we think it is the answer to the budget issues affecting our state, but because it is a bridge that buys us time to allow the Arizona economy to rebound and to begin the reform of the state's tax structure.
Sales taxes are regressive. Rejecting the sales tax would put other options back on the table. We agree that sales taxes are regressive. However at the moment a sales tax increase is the only revenue option we've been given. Remember that it takes a two-thirds super-majority to raise revenue in Arizona. Our legislators couldn't even pass the sales tax increase themselves. They could barely agree to refer it to the voters. It would be unrealistic to believe that the current legislature would somehow see the fiscally responsible "light" and find a fairer way to raise revenue if Proposition 100 were defeated. What Proposition 100 does is buy us time to come up with more permanent solutions. Also, remember, all these legislators are up for election in the August 24, 2010 primary and November 2, 2010 general election.
The amount from the sales tax apportioned to primary and secondary education is $600 million but there is only $428 million in conditional cuts to K-12 education in the FY2011 budget if Proposition 100 is defeated. This is not some kind of bait-and-switch tactic as suggested by opponents of Proposition 100. It is simply the result of the choices made from where to cut in the conditional budget - the budget that was prepared and passed in case Proposition 100 fails on May 18. The initial estimate in cuts to K-12 was closer to $600 million. However when the state's conditional budget was drafted there was such an outcry from constituents and stakeholders over the cuts to K-12 that the Legislature responded by lessening the cuts to K-12.
Instead they apportioned an additional cut of $107 million to universities, $15 million to community colleges and the balance of $50 million to health and human services. Keep in mind that the contingent budget that would be put in place if Proposition 100 fails includes cuts so drastic that the state would lose millions of dollars in federal matching funds.
This loss of federal funds would far outweigh the savings to the state from the cuts. If Proposition 100 fails, the legislature will likely return to address these issues regardless of the conditional budget. If Proposition 100 is approved the beneficiaries will be education, public safety and health and human services.
Money raised by Proposition 100 will be shifted to pay for corporate tax cuts. Money raised by the one-cent sales tax increase is mandated to go to education, health and human services and public safety. While a corporate tax cut is being discussed, the latest information we have is that it has been significantly reduced in scope and the governor is threatening to veto the corporate tax cut if it overlaps with the period of the sales tax increase (i.e. it cannot begin until after May 31, 2013).
Proposition 100 is the bridge we need to give our state the opportunity to recover economically and formulate a long term plan to reform our tax structure. The passage of the temporary one-percent sales tax is vital to keep our public education, health and human services and public safety from being decimated.
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The Arizona Education Network
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Tucson, AZ 85718
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"The Current Budget Crisis in Education and How it will Impact Your Family"
with keynote speaker Dr. Doug Wilson, Superintendent of Marana Unified School District
Wednesday, April 28, 7 - 8:30 p.m.
Mountain View High School
3901 West Linda Vista Boulevard
Tucson, AZ 85742
_________________________May 18, 2010
Special Election for Proposition 100 - Temporary 1% Sales Tax
Proposition 100 Facts
For more information see Proposition 100: The 1% Temporary Sales Tax Increase-Your Questions Answered
Early Voting Has Started
Early voting for Proposition 100 began on April 22, 2010. If you received a ballot by mail, please remember to vote YES and send it back. You can request an early ballot to be sent to your home until May 7, 2010. To find out how to request an early ballot, click here.
Community Leaders Discuss Proposition 100
On Thursday, April 22, 2010 the Arizona Education Network sponsored a community-wide forum on Proposition 100. Seven distinguished panelists from vital sectors in Pima County spoke of the fiscal, human and educational impact of Proposition 100 at the community level in Southern Arizona.
The panelists included:
Dr. Nic Clement, Flowing Wells Superintendent, Co-Chair of the Tucson School Superintendents' Collaborative
Rainer W.G. Gruessner, M.D., Chairman of the Department of Surgery, University of Arizona
Chuck Huckelberry, Pima County Administrator
Penelope Jacks,Children's Action Alliance, Southern Arizona Director
Sue Krahe, Our Family Services Director
Stephen MacCarthy, University of Arizona, Vice President for External Relations
Ron Shoopman, President of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council
Each of the panelists' presentations echoed a similar theme: Proposition 100 is a temporary band-aid that will protect public education, public safety, and health and human services - programs that are vital to Arizona's economic future.
To read a summary and/or watch the forum, click here.