Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Rival GOP ‘plans’ offer no hope for AZ economy

49th Arizona Legislature 2nd regular session starts Jan 11.

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Arizonans have watched Republican lawmakers and the governor fail multiple times this past year to solve one of the biggest budget deficits in history and continue to push our state down the wrong track. Today was no different.

Republican lawmakers and Gov. Jan Brewer announced this morning rival plans that will fail again to stimulate our state’s economy and get Arizona on the right track.

“Republican lawmakers’ plan shows they want to raise taxes on middle-class homeowners while giving huge tax breaks to big corporations and the rich,” said House Democratic Leader David Lujan. “Gov. Brewer’s speech today also fell short of any real plan. Pointing out how nice the weather is in Arizona in the winter doesn’t replace the need for real leadership and resolution of tough issues.”

According to Republicans’ plan, business property class assessment ratio will be reduced from 20 percent to 15 percent, meaning businesses will get to pay less in property tax, and homeowners will have to pick up the tab. Kids’ education also will suffer another blow from the Republicans’ plan. Other tax breaks for corporations in these plans will cost hundreds of millions of dollars when we are already facing a budget deficit of $3 billion.

"Brewer and legislative Republicans continue to be unfair to citizens, and that must stop," said Representative Daniel Patterson of Tucson. "Arizona needs leaders in 2010 with the courage to do the right thing for the common good, and we don't have it in Brewer, Burns or Adams."

“What’s not stated in this ‘plan’ are the massive funding cuts to kids’ education to pay for these tax cuts for big corporations and the rich,” said Assistant House Democratic Leader Kyrsten Sinema. “In addition to these tax cuts, Republicans want to expand the $100 million-a-year private school STO tax credit to give even more money to a program rife with fraud and abuse.”

Closing these kinds of loopholes are smart, simple budget-balancing solutions, but are no where to be found in Republicans’ plans.

“It makes no sense that country club memberships and spa treatments aren't subject to sales tax, while middle-class families pay sales tax on clothes and school supplies,” said House Democratic Whip Chad Campbell. “We should be making cuts to wasteful non-essential services, using federal stimulus dollars, implementing tough immigration reform, closing tax loopholes and making the rich and big corporations pay their fair share so we can walk down the middle of the road toward a stronger Arizona.”

- adapted from House Dems PIO

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