by David Safier

Brewer floated a trial balloon a few days ago: Maybe we should let people vote to decide whether they want to tax themselves.

It was a cowardly, manipulative gambit. If more taxes are genuinely bad for the Arizona economy as the Republicans say, why endanger us by letting the voters put new taxes in place? And if Arizona would benefit from more taxes, why let the voters decide? The legislators should act like adults and do it themselves.

The Democrats have responded. Senator Jorge Garcia said in a press release:

"It does not make sense to increase taxes when a Republican priority is to make permanent the equalization property tax rate.”

Not bad. First reinstate the equalization property tax you plan to kill, then let's talk about more taxes.

The press release continued:

While the Republican Majority continues to dole out tax credits to private entities, they want you to pay more taxes.

Also not bad. Let's look at, oh, say, tax credits for private schools that amount to something like $60 million a year along with some other breaks that we can't afford right now. After we get rid of those and put back the equalization property tax, then let's see where we are, and we can talk about new taxes.

They're taking the initiative,and that's good. Never let the other side dictate the terms of the argument.

The press release feels a bit tentative and awkward, like the Dems don't quite have their feet under themselves yet, but it's a start. It looks like the Dems aren't planning to lie down and let the Republicans roll over them.