Monday, January 25, 2010

GOP's corporate bailouts wrong for Arizona

Brewer & GOP are on the wrong track.

UPDATE, Jan 28: House Rs passed this bad bill today. The only bipartisan position was against it as all Ds and one R voted no.

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Arizonans have watched Republican lawmakers fail multiple times to solve the budget deficit, and today Republicans’ corporate bailout package will take Arizona one step farther down the wrong track.

House Republicans’ plan to bail out big corporations and the rich while making middle-class families pay for it will be heard in the House Ways and Means Committee today at 2 p.m.

“Bottom line, this is no ‘jobs creation package’ and Arizonans know it,” Assistant House Democratic Leader Kyrsten Sinema said. “The reality is that it’s a corporate bailout package to benefit big corporations and the rich, while middle-class families foot the tax bill.”

According to Republicans’ plan, business property class assessment ratio will be reduced from 20 percent to 15 percent, meaning businesses will pay less in property tax while homeowners pay more.

"It's unfair for Republicans to continue to shift the tax burden on to regular people by pushing new tax breaks for corporations and the rich," said Rep. Daniel Patterson. "Everyone needs to pay their fair share. Arizonans want balanced reform, not the old, failed out-of-touch schemes coming from Brewer and the guys running the legislature."

Republicans also want to give away a nearly 30 percent income tax break to big corporations without a guarantee or incentive that big corporations will use it to create more jobs.

“The headquarters of a big corporate retailer, for example, located in another state like Arkansas or Minnesota, would get to decide how to use Arizona’s tax break,” said House Democratic Policy Leader Steve Farley. “It could be used for any number of things like salary raises for corporate executives who already are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Republicans also want to repeal the education equalization tax, which they failed to do last year, and which directly funds education. Education took the biggest cut in Arizona history last year, and this year, Gov. Jan Brewer is proposing $750 million more in cuts to kids’ classrooms.

Republicans’ plan also appears to violate the gift clause in the state constitution, by giving big corporations money just to move to Arizona, when that money could fund schools.

“This is more about Republicans bailing out big corporations and the rich and giving away middle-class Arizonans’ hard-earned cash,” House Democratic Whip Chad Campbell said. “With Republicans’ corporate bailout package, corporate Arizona is getting a second Christmas. Clearly Republicans are just pushing Arizona further down the wrong track.”

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