Wide-ranging coalition opposes Prop 204
Proposition 204 opponents have formed an unprecedented coalition of leaders throughout Arizona that has exposed the fatal flaws in the measure and rallied voters to defeat the initiative.
The coalition has based its opposition to Proposition 204 on three key arguments:
- The proposition would impose a permanent one-cent increase in the state sales tax rate that would hurt families and business. It would give Arizona the second highest sales rate in the nation.
- The proposition gives no assurance that $1 billion more for education every year will reach the classroom. It provides no provision for accountability that increased education spending will result in improved outcomes; it resists all efforts for education reform.
- The proposition funnels money to special interests that have nothing to do with education. Spending tax dollars for road building and public transit is a legitimate use of public funds, but there is no evidence that such spending improves education.
These are potent arguments supported by elected leaders, business groups, taxpayer advocates, and civic groups throughout Arizona. They are strong in numbers and convey common wisdom. It is wrong to surrender taxation and education spending to a small band of elites that thinks it knows better than voters and their representatives in government.
Governor Brewer has taken a strong stand against Proposition 204. State Treasurer Doug Ducey is the leader of the coalition to defeat the measure. Many members of the state legislature are opposed to the initiative.
At the grassroots level, a host of mayors and city council members are on record against the proposition. These are the elected leaders closest to the taxpayers and the needs of local schools.
Business organizations are united in their opposition as well. Led by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, business groups opposed to Proposition 204 represent retail, home construction, tourism, farming, and auto sales. They are alarmed about a sales tax increase that will hit consumers and damage business both large and small.
Taxpayer advocates and civic groups have dissected Proposition 204 and found it wanting. These include the Arizona Tax Research Association, the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, the Center for Arizona Policy, the Goldwater Institute, and Americans for Prosperity in Arizona.
This is a powerful and convincing coalition. It speaks to the concerns of millions of Arizona taxpayers and the hopes of citizens who want real education reform.
On November 6, the voters will reflect the force of this statewide coalition and defeat Proposition 204.
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