TUCSON -- My friend Jim Nintzel in the Tucson Weekly this week misunderstands or distorts my view on possible sales tax cuts.
I've proposed taking a serious look at cutting our currently high sales taxes. This is a big worthy idea for more fair local economics.
My view is the current sales tax is a burden for many, and I could help provide leadership as Mayor to get everyone together to see if and how we could lower it.
When I say an eventual reduction of sales tax to 6% is a goal, I don't envision we'd "have to dump the 2 percent city sales," as the Weekly printed. If we couldn't find a way to raise enough revenue in other ways, or work out a deal with the state, then we could not do it and I would not push it.
Jim suggested one of my ideas to find a way to have new residents pay a reasonable and justifiable fee to help cover the costs they bring may be illegal. I'm not sure. I'm not a lawyer, and we don't need a lawyer for Mayor. I'm not sure yet how to implement it, but this could be a good idea to help raise revenue. I think most people who want to move to Tucson would understand and pay for the societal costs associated with them moving here. But if it turned out all the great minds couldn't figure out a way to do it legally then clearly we would not try it.
I also talked about cutting city waste, which would save budget money. Nintzel failed to mention this, and also several other ideas on possible revenue sources to replace sales taxes.
We need a Mayor who isn't afraid to articulate big visions and ideas, then show the leadership to form collaborative teams of all key players to try to get it done.
It's hard to do that when you are criticized so swiftly just for proposing an idea, and your potential opponent isn't even asked by the reporter to respond to the idea.
We need a Mayor who tries to cut the burdens on working families, not just pushes growth for the sake of growth, and expands the city budget with a regressive sales tax that hurts working people.
It's not easy even for thick-skinned people like me even consider a run for office when your positions are attacked and somewhat distorted by reporters even before you are a candidate.
But I can take it, and I'll keep on fighting for the public-interest and quality of life.