by David Safier
Ann-Eve Pedersen, one of the tireless stalwarts from the Arizona Education Network, and its president, has a beautifully written and spot on op ed in today's East Valley Trib. It's a shame to read excerpts here rather than the whole thing, so I suggest you stop here, click on the link and read what Pedersen wrote.
Pedersen challenges the notion that Arizona has balanced its budget the only way it could, by cutting, cutting, cutting.
Plenty of money is available; it just is not being collected by the state.
Arizona would have more than enough money to fund education and core services if our politicians would close some of the $10 billion in tax loopholes written into state tax code.
Gov. Brewer and her majority party legislators stubbornly reject the suggestion to close just a few of these tax loopholes that could easily prevent year-after-year cuts to education and health care.
If you doubt these loopholes exist, look up the annual tax expenditure report on the state Department of Revenue’s website: www.azdor.gov.
The lengthy report details the $10 billion in tax loopholes in Arizona. If you read the report, you will see that these have been gifts through the years to special-interest groups: agriculture, mining, liquor and many other industries.
Recently, our state’s business community successfully lobbied for yet another tax break — $538 million in corporate tax cuts.
It is now time for the business community and others to stop using their political clout for their own gain and start using it to save the state. They’ll actually save their own hides in the process.