A tax hike from Brewer?

by David Safier

A Republic article suggests that Gov. Jan might hold a special election in spring to see if people like the idea of a tax hike.

The article needs a whole lot of deconstruction to decide whether the Gov really wants a tax hike to pass.

If the voters get a distasteful tax bill with tax hikes that hurt people who can least afford it, the thing will probably go down. And honestly, what's the chance we'll get a measure that raises taxes intelligently out of the governor's office? Then the Republicans can say, "See? People don't want tax hikes. It's time to cut more money from schools."

Another part of the measure she's talking about (this is all in the trial balloon phase) would remove voter protections placed on programs approved by ballot measures. This passage gives an idea of what would happen if the protections were lifted:

That means voter-approved initiatives such as First Things First are largely off-limits to legislative cuts. In 2006, First Things First succeeded in getting Arizona voters to approve an increase in tobacco taxes to fund a series of programs for early-childhood education. As of the end of fiscal 2008, the programs had more than $230 million in their coffers – funding now being eyed by Brewer's allies and legislators looking for alternatives to deeper cuts in other state services.

That's because, although First Things First and other programs born from initiative have been spared, legislators have been forced to find cuts amid the one-third of the budget uncovered by either initiative protections or federal, court or statutory mandates.

You can find more about Republicans' desire to steal money from children by raiding the First Things First fund here.

Since lots of people who would be for tax hikes would be against removing the protections, the chances for the measure to go down increase.

(By the way, isn't there something that says a ballot measure can only be about one thing? Can it be written to include both tax hikes and removal of voter protections? Some one explain this to me, please.)

Brewer needs to look like a moderate for the 2010 governor's race. This may be a way to appear centrist without offending the anti-tax crowd. And the blame for the draconian cuts can be shifted to the voters. Neat trick, if that's what she's doing.

4 responses to “A tax hike from Brewer?

  1. Thane ,
    You don’t understand this at all. Brewer is worried that when whole parts of government start shutting down next year she will be blamed and will be more unpopular than our last president. So are many GOP members in the leg, they are just unable to say so publicly.

  2. My opinion is that Brewer doesn’t favor increased taxes and is only suggesting a initiative to raise taxes to avoid negative MSM press come election time. Whether that pans out I don’t know. At least one modern day main stream newspaper in Arizona may not exist come the tribulations of election season 15 months from now.
    http://coaching.typepad.com/espresso_pundit/2009/01/lee-enterprises.html
    Far all anybody knows it may be an effort to find out which legislators would be willing to vote for a referred tax increase and then have Brewer veto it, giving one more piece of information to voters come November 2010 as to who is _really_ in favor of letting people spend their own money and who really thinks that government should be doing the spending for them.

  3. Arizona has a single subject requirement, which means that an initiative can only address one issue.

    http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Laws_governing_the_initiative_process_in_Arizona

    In this context, this means there would have to be one ballot for the tax hike and a separate ballot for making changes to the voter protection act.

    btw, I am the only Arizona resident who regularly updates the Ballotpedia pages for our state. (http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Arizona)

    The more people who pitch in, the better the Ballotpedia pages will be.

  4. Antenori is also in favor of a ballot measure to increase taxes. I think that his call for the measure is disingenuous, there is no way he would support passing the measure.