Saturday, May 10, 2008

Developers get free pass, we'd get $43B road tax

Connie Wilhelm, queen of urban sprawl, wants you to pay for more sprawl so rich developers can get richer and pay nothing

PHOENIX -- The Governor's office has unwisely entered an unfair deal with Connie Wilhelm of the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona, and other developers, to let them pay zero and get off the hook on needed impact fees, while us taxpayers would be shaken down for over $42.6 billion through higher sales taxes, to subsidize new roads to enable more unsustainable urban sprawl.

Unacceptably, transit would get 600% less in the road dominated plan, and sales taxes would be near 10% for most Arizonans.

The regressive sales tax boost that hurts low income people most, like many in LD29, was reason alone to say 'no!' to this lame plan. The sweetheart corporate welfare free pass for developers is reason to say 'no and hell no!'.

So much for following the clear will of the people that development start to pay for itself. That has been ignored with this unwise give-away to corporations.

Read the perspective of many below on our declining quality of life due to developer driven road and car-centric planning, which the higher sales tax plan offers more of the same.

Re: the May 6 article "As Ariz. degrades, folks may leave."

Thank you for the story. After graduating from the University of Arizona with a degree in math, I am planning on moving out of Arizona after 25 years here.

Growth here has been handled very poorly and there is no indication, given the Interstate 10 bypass plans, and the imminent Grant Road widening project, that this is going to change.

As a native, I love the heat and the natural beauty of the state, but I'm tired of living in a place built for cars rather than for people.

Maybe I'll be back after the state becomes livable for those who would rather not drive 20 miles a day.

James Portwood, Tucson
AZ Daily Star, 5/10/08

The Legislature was right to not put this bad proposal on the ballot. So developer-paid professional petition hucksters will be out soon asking you to raise your already high sales taxes to pay for more roads while developers pay nothing. They won't present it in that honest way, of course. Don't be fooled. Just say no. Don't sign.

I respect and like Governor Janet Napolitano, but this unjust deal stinks and should be rejected. If her office must stoop so low to move this roads plan, it is just another strong indication of many that this is the wrong plan at the wrong time. Voters have the power to send it down in flames, and I predict we will.

Sadly, it appears Pat Graham and the Nature Conservancy, which has been known to sometimes make bad political deals, may have a hand in this to buy neutrality from developers on a modest first step proposal for State Lands reform. I hope this deal doesn't also end up tainting the supportable State Lands proposal.

1 comment:

Pico said...

Until progressives and others with sincere interest in environmental quality and water resources ACT as if we care, nothing will change substantially.

There's only one counter to money: mass votes.

So far, on this as on immigrant justice and air quality and health care and the occupation and post-Katrina support and everything else we say we stand for, we've largely ignored political reality and taken a 30-year nap. You see the consequences.

Publicly financed stadiums that yield exclusively private profits and a few very low-wage jobs, and now this. And soon the Trans-Texas Corridor and other PPP boondoggles designed to suck the blood out of the middle and working classes into the blood banks of a few obscenely wealthy and well connected families.

You know, the public lands of Arizona are not John McCain's to give to developers to convert for their private gain at the expense of our utilities subsidies and the quality of our air and the quantity of our water.

They're OUR lands. The air and water and desert land here are OUR commonwealth. They don't belong to Anthem and Diamond and Pulte and the rest, and they aren't our state legislature's or governor's to bargain with and give away for political support like so many poker chips.

We progressive bloggers need to unite and beat this drum until we see a major course reversal. It's repetition, repetition, repetition until finally the message hits the nerve.