Zombie ‘Prop. 13 Arizona’ rises from the dead again

There has to come a point when abject wilful ignorance crosses some line over into just pure evil.

That’s how I feel about California transplant Lynn Weaver, who is again chairing a committee for an initiative dubbed “Prop. 13 Arizona.” Proposed amendment would freeze property valuations. Her hero is that damned old fool Howard Jarvis, may he rot in hell.

BallotThis is Weaver’s fourth bid to put the issue on the ballot. Prior efforts in 2008, 2010 and 2012 failed because Weaver did not collect enough signatures.

Probably because Arizonans are not as wilfully ignorant as Lynn Weaver.

The Arizona Republic reports, Ballot effort would implode Arizona tax formulas:

Calling itself Prop 13 Arizona, the group is pushing for a tax system similar to the one California voters passed via Proposition 13 in 1978. It needs to collect 225,963 signatures from valid Arizona voters by July 7 to qualify for the November 2016 ballot. It failed to get the needed signatures in two prior attempts.

Prop 13 Arizona would cap the property-tax rate at 1 percent for residential property and 1.5 percent for commercial property, and limit property-tax increases to no more than 2 percent per year.

“Starting Jan. 1, 2017, we will switch to a free-market system of valuation,” said Lynne Weaver, chairwoman of the group. “Whatever you decide to pay for your house, that’s your valuation and it cannot go up more than 2 percent a year.”

It also phases out the personal-property tax over three years. It implodes the current K-12 public-school-funding formula by eliminating primary and secondary property-tax designations.

Arizona is already dead last in funding of public education, and our lawless Tea-Publican legislature is a deadbeat debtor that refuses to pay the judgment it owes to the state’s school districts — some $1.3 billion in back payments and an estimated $330 million per year going forward in future years — and this ignorant, evil woman wants California’s devastating Prop. 13 in Arizona to make things immeasurably worse.

WTF is wrong with you, lady?!

Arizona has a structural revenue because of past anti-tax zealot measures passed by citizen initiatives years ago.

A 1980 voter-approved constitutional provision already caps property taxes for homeowners at 1 percent of the home’s “full cash value.’’ Article 9, Section 18, Ariz. Const. As Republican Pima County Supervisor Ray Carroll explained in an op-ed, State legislators should understand what they’re voting for:

[T]he state’s voters in 1980 tore a page out of the California property tax revolt of the 1970s and capped combined primary property taxes for residential homeowners at 1 percent.

But what [Rep. Leach] gets wrong is why the state has been picking up the bill when combined primary property taxes exceed 1 percent. The 1 percent cap had an unintended consequence — it harmed public school districts by shorting their funding.

That was not what the voters, or the Legislature, which had referred the measure to voters, intended. The very next year the Legislature solved the problem by making school districts whole by paying for the amounts over 1 percent. Every Legislature since 1981 has agreed to pay for the mistake.

Until this Legislature.

* * *

Nevertheless, regardless of what happens with Pima County’s lawsuit, the error of 1980 will remain. Therefore, I hope Rep. Leach will lead the way next session in referring to voters a constitutional amendment that solves this problem so the Legislature won’t have to resort to similar buck-passing gimmicks in the future.

And then there is Arizona’s “Mini-Prop. 13,” or what I refer to as the GOP’s weapon of mass destruction, Prop. 108 (1992), the “two-thirds for taxes” amendment. This provision requires a two-thirds super-majority vote in both chambers of the legislature to raise taxes, or to eliminate or reduce tax credits or exemptions. This has been the single most destructive act ever enacted into law in Arizona. It is the source of our structural revenue deficit today.

Why would Ms. Weaver want to introduce this dysfunction created by California’s Prop. 13 in Arizona? Ideology — she is an anti-tax zealot.

Arizona desperately needs to get away from its over-reliance on the regressive sales tax for tax revenue and return to a balanced approach of income, property, sales and excise taxes/fees for service to alleviate its structural revenue deficit. Arizona’s tax code needs a complete overhaul, but this is not possible as long as Prop. 108, the “two-thirds for taxes” amendment remains law. Ms. Weaver’s “Prop. 13 Arizona” gimmick would only make our situation in Arizona immeasurably worse.

What we really need in this state is a ballot proposition to repeal Prop. 108 (1992), the “two-thirds for taxes” amendment, aka Arizona’s “Mini-Prop. 13,” and repealing the property tax limitations suggested by Pima County Supervisor Ray Carroll.

9 responses to “Zombie ‘Prop. 13 Arizona’ rises from the dead again

  1. “WTF is wrong with you, lady?!” you ask? Nothing is wrong with me. Good tax policy creates economic growth and prosperity beneficial to the greatest number of people.

    The least you could do is spell my name right while attacking me personally!

    • You are talking to a man who has never seen a tax he didn’t like. He genuinely believes that the government redistribution of wealth is the way to get rid of poverty. Whether it is through direct cash transfers or government programs, he thinks the answer is to take taxes from the wealthy (whatever his definition of the “wealthy” might be) and give it to the poor. Be prepared to either (1) be ignored, or, (2) receive a profanity laced response filled with charts and graphs that are somehow supposed to prove he is right. If it is #2, the math will be a little “squishy” and hard to follow, but he means it 100%.

    • First, an unintentional typo in your name. Get over it.

      Second, no one familiar with California since the enactment of Prop. 13 can say in good conscience that it was “Good tax policy that created economic growth and prosperity beneficial to the greatest number of people.” California’s tax policy has been a train wreck for decades after enacting Prop. 13.

      In 2010, California voters approved a ballot initiative, Prop. 25, which repealed the previous requirement in the state that two-thirds of the members of the California State Legislature had to vote in favor of the state’s budget in order for the budget to be enacted. In 2012, when California was in a severe budget crisis, voters passed a ballot initiative, Prop. 30, which increased taxes for everyone, including the rich, marginally increasing the sales tax while creating new income tax brackets of 10.3 percent for those who earned between $250,000 and $300,000; 11.3 percent for taxpayers who made anywhere between $300,000 and $500,000; 12.3 percent for incomes of $500,000 to $1,000,000; and 13.3 percent for all incomes above $1,000,000. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carl-gibson/kansas-tax-cuts_b_5589663.html:

      “The state’s coffers will gain approximately $6.8 billion in new revenue every year, all of which will be invested in public education. California saw 2.9 percent job growth in 2013, making it the third fastest-growing economy in the US. California will have an operational surplus of $9 billion by 2018, meaning even more public sector jobs created and a better economy for everyone. And because education is now a funding priority, California’s schoolchildren are set up to soar above and beyond national education averages. Well-educated kids means more people in the future able to take on high-skilled, good-paying jobs.”

      Your proposal would do exactly the opposite, at a time when Arizona’s education funding is already last in the nation.

      You are either wilfully ignorant, or have malicious evil intent.

      • Donna Gratehouse

        I just love when these thin-skinned backers of idiotic ballot propositions feel compelled to respond with their umbrage and empty talking points.

        That reminds me, we haven’t written anything about Top Two Primary in a while…

        • Be my guest, Donna. BTW, our Democratic political consultant class wants us to get behind the “tuition cap” initiative for the state universities, while not pursuing any initiatives that would increase state revenue for education. What a stupid idea.

      • ” The state’s coffers will gain approximately $6.8 billion in new revenue every year, all of which will be invested in public education.”

        What will keep the legislature from pulling the usual shell game of moving general revenue funds earmarked for education into other projects? Before celebrating what they are going to do, you should see what they actually do.

        ”California saw 2.9 percent job growth in 2013, making it the third fastest-growing economy in the US.”

        You celebrate a growth in low skilled, low paying jobs when the statistic favors your argument, but then condemn it by actually dissecting the statistic when it suits your rants against Arizona.

        ”California will have an operational surplus of $9 billion by 2018…”

        Legislatures rarely allow a surplus to exist when there are so many “good causes” to fund. Surplus funds are irresistible. Again, you should wait and see what actually happens as opposed to what you predict will happen.

        ”California’s schoolchildren are set up to soar above and beyond national education averages.”

        In the liberal dream world, that might be true. But in the real world, there has never been a correlation established between levels of funding and student performance.

        There are reasons why California has seen a population and business flight for several years. Liberals have run the State for years and should have created heaven on earth by now. Instead, they have created a pro-welfare, anti-business environment that requires ever increasing taxes to support itself. California will eventually kill the Golden Goose when the pleasure of living there is exceeded by the cost.

  2. You have never met a tax you didn’t like, have you?