Friday, October 23, 2009

AZ budget gap at $2B, need fair creative deal

5-way bipartisan AZ budget deal needed at Capitol.

PHOENIX -- The state's deficit for the current fiscal year 2010 has grown to at least $2B, due to the failure of the legislative majority and governor to reach a budget agreement. This is reckless and unacceptable.

I remain ready to help solve it, but are Gov. Brewer & the GOP majority? Arizona needs new revenue, but it should be fair to middle/working class and poor people, and more sales tax hikes are not. We cannot afford more tax cuts right now. Maybe prison spending should be cut more? How about legalizing and taxing cannabis through a secure permit system? This would likely raise hundreds of millions annually from willing taxpayers.

One indicator of the problem is out-of-touch House Republicans increased the legislative budget this year, while forcing massive harmful cuts to everyone else. I and other House Democrats objected to this.

I await credible word and details on a likely deal between legislative leadership, including Dems, and the Gov. Until then the needed worthwhile special session seems distant.


Tempe Democrat said...

They knocked "Seel's" (stolen) fraud reduction from $50 mil to $5 mil...

Eli Blake said...

Speaking as a Democratic voter (not an office-holder or interested in running for office,) and also a parent and a consumer who would be subject to the tax,

I recognize the state needs new revenue and would vote for a temporary sales tax IF it wasn't just being used to pay for tax cuts elsewhere. But if there is a tax cut (either temporary or permanent) included in the budget then I wouldn't support it because then the revenues would not be used for education or highways or public safety, but instead would be essentially robbing Peter to pay Paul. And as a consumer I would more likely consider myself to be Peter in that case.

The Governor's veto of the property tax cut was a good start. Yes, my tax bill is higher than it was last year after the temporary cut expired, but given the alternative of further cuts in my kids' school, I'm OK with paying the property tax.