Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Brewer not shooting in the dark

The Arizona Republican Party put out a press release today including survey data recently completed regarding the Governor's proposed tax increase.

This definitely confirms what I was hoping, that the Governor wasn't just shooting in the dark hoping it would work. The question asked was included in the release and runs right along with the Governor's 5 Point Plan of cutting, reforming and preventing big time government growth, and a temporary tax increase.

Results show support for statewide sales tax as part of comprehensive plan
including cuts and use of stimulus funds

PHOENIX – The Arizona Republican Party released results from a recent survey today showing strong public support for a temporary 1% statewide sales tax as part of a balanced budget approach.

The statewide survey conducted in partnership with Margaret C. Kenski, Ph.D. of Arizona Opinion and HighGround, Inc. was conducted over March 6 - 12, 2009, interviewing 607 high-efficacy, likely voters. When it came to taxes, here was the comprehensive question that was asked:

“I’d like to ask you how acceptable or unacceptable you find the following measures which would be considered in addition to spending cuts in order to preserve critical education and public health funding while the economy begins to recover. These
taxes would be in the form of a constitutionally limited tax that would last for no more than three years and would automatically be eliminated without another public vote.

Let’s assume for the purposes of these questions that the Legislature and the Governor have already cut nearly $1 billion dollars in State spending by 2010, used all of the federal stimulus funds to balance the budget and still have a billion dollar per year budget deficit. All of the funds raised from these taxes would be dedicated towards maintaining 2010 spending levels for K-12 education, universities, community colleges, and health care for the poor. Each of the following measures would raise approximately a billion dollars per year.”

The results showed that 66.6% of the electorate supported a temporary 1% increase in the statewide sales tax to help bridge the gap to economic recovery, with nearly 40% considering it a very acceptable option.

39.7 % Very Acceptable
26.9% Somewhat Acceptable
9.1% Neutral
5.9% Somewhat Unacceptable
18.0% Very Unacceptable
.5% Unsure

The question gathered widespread support spanning party lines - Republicans found the sales tax 62.5% acceptable, Democrats 71.6% acceptable and Independents 64.6% acceptable.

“We were surprised by the level of support expressed by the electorate. It appears that Arizona voters would support a balanced approach in solving the budget crisis,” said Randy Pullen, Chairman of AZGOP. “Former Governor Napolitano and the Democrats in the legislature left us with a financial crisis on our hands. We all recognize Arizona government must learn to live within its means by reducing spending and reforming government. This Governor and Republican legislature have already made larger budget reductions and reforms than any previous governor and legislature. However, with continuing bad news on all fronts about declining tax revenues and the state having to borrow money next month to make payroll, the sooner the budget is balanced the better it will be for all Arizonans.

“We encourage the Governor and the Legislature to pursue any and all means necessary to right our current budget crisis and restore fiscal sanity to the state of Arizona,” concluded Pullen.


Thane Eichenauer said...

The average voter in Arizona knows two things. One: No tax is temporary. Two: I don't want higher taxes, not today or tomorrow, not on sales nor on income. Every tax boostering action of the Arizona Republican Party confirms my choice to leave that party last year and return to the only party that uniformly rejects taxation and government spending as a solution to the problem of the day.

AZ Blogger said...

Thane, I'm interested to hear your opinion on what the state should do.

Thane Eichenauer said...

Item 1 for the Eichenauer proposal, start by repealing all sentences for drug crimes for persons currently incarcerated, those that are not currently serving other sentences for (let's call them) real crimes.

Short of a legislative bill I hear Arizona's governor can pardon and commute sentences, surely somebody can find 12 people a month (every month) who have been convicted of marijuana offenses who wouldn't mind being commuted (and nobody will care if they are commuted).

Item 2 for the Eichenauer proposal, legalize the production, purchase and use of any currently illegal so-called dangerous drug (marijuana, meth, cocaine, heroin and PCP) for any person not a minor.

Item 3 for the Eichenauer proposal is a two-parter. First furlough 10% of the state police for 1 year (call it a temporary measure). Second, start selling the Arizona Gun Owner's Guide in the lobby of the Arizona State Capitol Executive Tower and DMV locations.

Item 4 for the Eichenauer proposal, start selling State of Arizona work permits at $2,000 a year to anybody who could otherwise pass the Arizona CCW background screen if they weren't already an undocumented worker.

Item 5 for the Eichenauer proposal, start the Arizona 2012 Centennial early and authorize the minting of 1 oz Copper, Silver and Gold coins [PDF] (or medallions or medals or whatever you want to call them).

Item 6 for the Eichenauer proposal, Get Ron Gould to submit a bill to change compensation for legislators from the current rate of ~$2,000/month in dollars to 1 gold 1 oz medal per week. (Think you'll get some bipartisan legislative support?). If that is two much feel free to change the rate to 3 gold 1 oz medals per month (plus 3 silver 1 oz medals plus 3 copper 1 oz medals).

I'm not attached to getting name credit, feel free to name it whatever you wish. Also you may want to start with item 5 and work your way back to 1 (or skip around).

Lastly, thank you for asking.