Wednesday, August 06, 2008

LD29 candidates differ on economic justice, taxes

Daniel Patterson (center) speaks about economic justice and fairness at the LD29 debate

UPDATE, 8/11: The proposed sales tax increase I said no to, but my main opponents support, (aka TIME initiative) is so unpopular with voters that it failed to even make the ballot.

TUCSON -- Arizona Daily Star political writer Daniel Scarpinato today covers the controversial proposal to raise your sales taxes.

Most southern Arizona candidates for Legislature support keeping sales taxes where they are, including me.

But my three main opponents want the sales tax increase, which would take an estimated $20M or more a year from mostly lower income people on the south and southeast sides, further harming our local economy. This is unfair and unwise.

from the Star: 'In southern Tucson's District 29... Daniel Patterson pointed to two issues that jar opponents. The actual 1-cent increase amounts to a 17.85 percent increase in the current state sales tax. Also, organizers agreed not to push for impact fees for developers in exchange for $100,000 to help pay for signature gathering and a commitment for more money to campaign for the measure.'

"I support needed transportation improvements but cannot support raising the sales tax (nearly) 18 percent in this tough economy, especially while wealthy developers get an inside deal to avoid paying fair impact fees," Patterson said in his response. Sales taxes, he said, "hurt lower-income people the most."

In the column, one of my opponents claims the sales tax increase will produce money that 'cannot be found elsewhere'. He is wrong. Arizona can and should help pay for transportation with fair impact fees so growth pays for itself, as most Arizonans are demanding.

Fiscal responsibility, fairness and economic justice matters, especially to the many low income people in Tucson and district 29. Read my Q&A with the Tucson Weekly on the state budget and taxes and you'll notice differences on economic justice between me and my opponents.

With your support, I will help you in this bad economy. With your vote in the primary now - Sept 2, I will work cooperatively in the State House for fair tax reform, and a more balanced and fair transportation plan in 2009.

Greg Patterson (no relation) at Espresso Pundit is revealing the TIME proposal to raise sales taxes has so little support from voters that it may not even make the ballot.

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