Terry Goddard challenges Jan Brewer not to use sales tax to fund corporate tax giveaways

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Terry Goddard today challenged the Accidental Governor, Jan Brewer, not to use the sales tax to fund the package of corporate tax giveaways the Arizona House of Representatives laughingly refers to as a jobs creation bill. The era of faith based supply-side trickle-down GOP economics is over.

Here is the press release.


Goddard Challenges Brewer to Take Tax Pledge

Pledge Calls for No Sales Tax Increase on Middle-Income Arizonans to Fund Corporate Tax Giveaways

Phoenix — Attorney General Terry Goddard today challenged Governor Brewer to pledge that she will not take sales tax money from middle-income Arizonans and give it away to corporations. The challenge was made in a letter today.

“The gang down at the capitol is itching to give away more of our money to corporations,” said Goddard. “This shell game will make Arizona’s problems even worse. I call upon the Governor to pledge to veto any across-the-board, corporate tax giveaways. It’s one thing to target some tax cuts for job growth, but slashing the rates across the board is entirely different.”

The text of the letter is below.

March 17, 2010

Dear Governor Brewer:

I have been giving careful consideration to your proposal to temporarily increase the State sales tax in response to Arizona’s fiscal crisis. That crisis, which has significantly worsened in the last year, threatens our schools, our health and security, and our quality of life. It has been exacerbated by your and the Legislature’s continued failure to produce a balanced budget despite Arizona’s constitutional requirement for one that was due nearly nine months ago.

Your proposed sales tax increase offers a temporary and incomplete solution. In addition to the fact that it raises only about one-third of the revenue needed to cover the projected deficit, your plan suffers from the significant flaw that it imposes new tax burdens on consumers – including Arizona’s struggling middle class – whose collective buying power will be crucial to pulling us out of our current slump. It does so without even considering the possibility of more equitable and long-term solutions, such as closing the many tax loopholes that favor the rich and big corporations. Under your plan, for example, a family that must buy a car for work or school faces higher taxes, while someone buying a membership in an elite country club pays no sales tax whatsoever.

Most troubling to me, however, is the fact that voters are being asked to pass this tax increase without knowing the status of other tax proposals still being considered by the legislature, including a plan to slash hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate taxes. Middle-income Arizonans simply should not be asked to finance through temporary higher sales taxes a permanent non-targeted cut in corporate taxes. Such a result is not only grossly unfair to working Arizonans, but would stymie our economic recovery and leave Arizona with a deeper, long-term budget hole.

To my knowledge, you have never publicly stated where you stand on the corporate tax breaks being considered by the legislature, but I sincerely hope that you recognize the folly of funding any such tax breaks through a sales tax on middle-income Arizonans – particularly on the heels of devastating cuts to our schools, health care and public safety. Arizonans like my wife and me cannot support your proposed sales tax increase if you intend to follow it with across-the-board corporate tax cuts. I call upon you to pledge your veto to any non-targeted corporate tax giveaways that would appreciably offset the short-term revenue gains from Prop. 100. Arizonans deserve meaningful assurances from you that the increased revenues from your tax increase will truly benefit our schools, public health, and public safety.

Terry Goddard

0 responses to “Terry Goddard challenges Jan Brewer not to use sales tax to fund corporate tax giveaways

  1. A bill has to be heard first in a committee; the Chair has discretionary power to hear it or not

  2. Anybody who thinks that a tax on country club memberships (and accountant invoices and hair cuts) is going to bring in enough money to continue current levels of government spending is dreaming.

  3. Can you count? The only reason the GOP insane clown posse leadership wanted the Democrats to submit their own budget bill was for the purpose of voting it down on a party-line vote. It is partisan political gamesmanship. The GOP insane clown posse own this train wreck of a budget.

  4. Gee, it would have been nice if Terry or any Democrats for that matter would have submitted their budget as a bill. Then we could all say that we actually did something. I am frustrated that Democrats chose to sit on the sidelines rather then push forward with a plan of their own. If there was any confidence in the plan that was supposedly had, they should have introduced it as a bill.

  5. Francine Shacter

    A progressive tax means just that: who makes more, pays more. And excusing corporations or lowering their taxes? CRAZY!!! Myself, I will work against an increase in the sales tax. It is immoral and it gives a bit of money rather than to force the issue – Arizona needs a progressive tax which places a greater burden on those better able to carry the burden and includes taxes on companies which make their money in Arizona. And I’ll keep beating on this pot until a sales tax is recognized for what it is – immoral!

  6. Go Terry! Finally someone is saying what needs to be said – why should corporate tax breaks be acceptable when our schools are dying. And then we “have” to support the sales tax which hits the poor hardest in order to help the school system or else the legislature will unfund it again. They could just do what every other state does. Why not simply raise taxes on the wealthiest in this state and solve the budget crisis like a real governor with real legislators instead of this constant posturing.