What’s All This Fuss About Sales Tax?

Following the latest efforts to reform the way Arizona manages the transaction privilege tax aka sales tax revenue?

We are.

Here are two reports from KAET’s Horizon featuring Arizona Capitol Times reporter Jim Small and Arizona State University economist Dennis Hoffman on Governor Jan Brewer’s agenda to simplify Arizona Sales Tax system.

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Arizona Republic Columnist Laurie Roberts on Betsey Bayless Raise

Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts recently appeared on Arizona KAET’s Horizon to discuss the $125,000 pay raise awarded to Maricopa County Integrated Health System’s CEO, Betsey Bayless.

We applaud Laurie Roberts for revealing the details on Bayless’ machinations that brings her salary up to $500,000 a year!

Betsey Bayless is probably the highest paid unelected state official in Arizona.

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No New Taxes, No on 204 Releases “5 Reasons”

NO on 204

PHOENIX — No New Taxes, No on 204 today released its newest television advertisement titled, “5 Reasons.” Business and community leaders across the state all agree that the $1 billion permanent sales tax burden that Prop 204 will place on hardworking families and small business owners is bad public policy. Although there are 100 things wrong with the initiative, the top five reasons are highlighted in this 30 second spot.

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Script For “5 Reasons:”



ANNOUNCER: “5 reasons to vote no on Prop 204. 204 is the largest permanent tax increase in Arizona’s history.”


ANNOUNCER: “Arizona would have the second highest sales taxes in America.”


ANNOUNCER: “Groups all across Arizona say 204 has no education reform.”


ANNOUNCER: “204 was written by special interests in secret.”


ANNOUNCER: “And The Republic opposes 204 saying it:

“…is bad public policy…burdening the poor far more than the well-to-do…”



ANNOUNCER: “Vote No on 204.”

To learn more about Proposition 204, please visit www.VoteNoOn204.com.


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Mesa Mayor Scott Smith on Arizona Proposition 204

Education has always been a major part of my life. My father, Dr. George N. Smith, was a highly respected teacher and school superintendent here in Arizona for over 35 years. As the superintendent of one of the largest school districts, my father lived education – at the dinner table, at church, even at the grocery store. During his tenure, Mesa’s schools were considered to be among the finest in the nation.

I grew up knowing that quality education was the key to success. That’s why, even as a struggling family, my wife and I made sacrifices so that I could go to law school. That’s also why education has been a key part of my HEAT (Healthcare, Education, Aerospace, Tourism/Technology) initiative in Mesa.

So far, we have had a great deal of success with this initiative. We’ve increased opportunities in higher education by bringing five new colleges to our downtown. We’ve built stronger relationships with ASU Polytechnic, MCC, AT Still and others. We’ve teamed up with Mesa Public Schools to develop a plan to turn underused space into youth sports facilities with the passage of Mesa’s Question 1. I am also pleased to be part of the Mayor’s Roundtable on Education.

I wholeheartedly believe that educating our children is the most important investment we can make in Arizona, and we should expect nothing short of excellence in our educational system. I have seen firsthand how critical quality education is to creating economic opportunities. I have long supported efforts to provide adequate funding for our schools and colleges, expand parental choice, encourage innovation, improve teacher training, and demand accountability.

During this recession, many Arizonans have expressed their displeasure with the manner in which State leaders have handled educational funding priorities. Prop 204 is a product built from this frustration. Unfortunately, it is a flawed product; and, is bad public policy.

Prop 204 imposes a permanent fix for what is most likely a short-term problem. All too often, these inflexible changes become outdated as the world changes. Rather than curing the actual ailment, these solutions end up merely easing the pain for a short time. They then often prohibit substantive reforms that would have a more lasting impact. Prop 204 may even reward the status quo, which will also inhibit real changes in school financing or performance. This will not inspire the kind of transformational reforms that our children need and deserve.

In its attempt to solve one problem, Prop 204 will also simply shift financial challenges from one area of government to another. And, the changes in Prop 204 will make it more difficult, if not impossible to achieve much needed overall state tax reform.

Arizonans should demand real solutions from our leaders to the challenges we face. Prop 204 not only fails to solve these challenges, it will keep us from making the changes we need to improve our educational system. Please join me in voting No on Prop 204. Let’s then work together to make Arizona’s schools the best in America!

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Prop 204 a giveaway to the construction industry

By Graydon Holt

You have to hand it to the construction industry companies in Arizona that builds roads and public transit. They found a clever way to grab millions in taxpayer money every year without answering to the state legislators elected to spend public funds.

Vote No on 204

Vote NO on 204!

Proposition 204 is their route to riches. The Proposition would raise at least $1 billion a year by installing a one-cent permanent increase in the state sales tax rate. About $100 million a year would go to the construction industry. The proposition supporters claim that funds for education are somehow linked to jobs, meaning construction jobs.

This is a stretch beyond recognition. Voters all over Arizona must be scratching their heads and asking what in the world roads and light rail have to do with improving student performance in the classroom.The answer, of course, is nothing. Proposition 204 supporters say only that their tax and spend scheme will help the state economy. Well-built and maintained roads and transit certainly help Arizona’s economy. But they should not be linked to education spending.

The construction industry got this sweetheart deal by pledging to help pay for the Proposition 204 campaign. A $100 million a year subsidy paid by taxpayers is a good deal in exchange for a campaign contribution. Voters should cancel the deal and vote no on Proposition 204.

Read other posts by Graydon Holt at Western Free Press

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Prop 204 campaign hiding behind the children

By Graydon Holt

The most offensive thing about Proposition 204 is the cynical ploy to hide behind young children to feather the nest of special interests. Never underestimate the gall of people who want to get their hands on the taxpayers’ money.

The know-it-alls who came up with Proposition 204 are pulling the oldest trick in the book. Trick the voters. Spin a myth that cruel legislators are shortchanging schools, devise a scheme to grab a cool $1 billion a year that the state legislature can’t touch, spread the money around to your friends in the education bureaucracy, and then pretend that all the money will help students and teachers.

Truth be told, the Proposition 204 proponents are control freaks. They don’t like the idea that elected representatives in the legislature spend our sales tax money. Talk about standing our democratic system on its head. What they really don’t like are the legislators the people select.

They should run their own candidates if they don’t like the ones currently in office. That’s how the system works. Get in the game.

Most of all, stop running ads filled with students and scenes of schools. You are using the children. You really want to control the money and decide who gets it – your cronies and pet projects.

Voters are too smart to fall for this scheme. They will reject Proposition 204 on November 6.

Read other posts by Graydon Holt at Western Free Press

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Prop 204 is a grab bag of earmarks and pork projects

By Graydon Holt

It is time to tell the truth and label Proposition 204 the greatest earmark-spending scheme in the history of the state.

We all know that earmarks are end runs around the taxpayers.

Earmark professionals populate legislatures from coast to coast and have long made a comfortable home in the United States Congress. They stash money for their pals and pet projects in huge pieces of legislation knowing that hardly anyone will notice.

After years of abuse, the earmark pros were so fully exposed and embarrassed in Washington; they beat a retreat and pulled back. The full light of day ended the process, at least for now.

Proposition 204 is a shameless use of the earmark technique.

It takes about $1 billion a year in sales tax money and spreads it around to the education bureaucracy and special interests that have nothing to do with education. High on the list is the road construction industry that helped pay for the Proposition 204 campaign.

To lock it down, the proposition says the legislature would have no say in how the education money is spent. So much for the citizens who pay the sales tax. Their elected representatives would be shut out.

This is an earmark to beat all earmarks. Voters won’t fall for it. They will vote no on Proposition 204 on Election Day.

Read other posts by Graydon Holt at Western Free Press

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Congressman Ben Quayle Opposes Proposition 204

Warns Taxpayers of the Negative Impact a Permanent Sales Tax Increase Will Have on Arizona’s Economic Development

PHOENIX —Today, Arizona Congressman Ben Quayle joined State Treasurer Doug Ducey in opposition to Proposition 204. The unintended consequences of Prop 204 has the list of community and business leaders rallying against the largest permanent sales tax increase in Arizona’s history growing by the day.

“This tax increase will not only hurt all hard working Arizonans, it will also make Arizona a less attractive place to do business,” said Congressman Quayle. “We have the ability to stop a permanent sales tax increase that will force current and future generations to pay a $1 billion annual tax. Voting ‘NO’ on Proposition 204 will stop this special interest tax increase that has no accountability and offers no real reform for our education system.”

Congressman Quayle has spent his tenure in Washington fighting for smart tax policies that reward, rather than punish, Americans. Prop 204’s permanent tax increase on Arizona families sends the message that not only that Arizona is closed for business, but also that the state does not care about the families that continue to struggle during this economic recovery.

“Congressman Quayle has fought tirelessly against policies that burden families,” said Doug Ducey, Chairman of the No New Taxes, No on 204 committee. “Raising sales taxes 18 percent on every purchase will not help families, not attract new business to our state, and not help promote existing business growth throughout Arizona.”

To learn more about Proposition 204, please visit www.VoteNoOn204.com.


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What YOU can do to stop the Prop 204 tax hike!

New poll shows the Prop 204 tax hike is losing! AFP-Arizona activists can help defeat it!

Dear Arizona Taxpayer,

With barely two weeks left until Election Day, we must keep running until we cross the finish line.

Using Arizona’s children as a shield for their special-interest boondoggles, proponents of Proposition 204 want to take a billion dollars a year from Arizona families — at a time when many families are still struggling and breadwinners are out of work.

Prop 204 boosters have told voters that the tax is necessary to aid an underfunded education system, even though overall education spending in Arizona has increased over 60 percent during the past decade.

According to a new report by the Goldwater Institute, per-pupil spending in Arizona has increased by 9 percent in real terms over the past decade — even after recent budget cuts!  And the Arizona education system now puts a smaller proportion of available funds into the classroom than it did before the massive Prop 301 education tax was passed in 2000.

The good news is that the spending lobby’s tactics may be failing.  A recent poll suggests that a majority of Arizonans now understands that a massive tax increase is not the right move for our state’s fragile economy. Throwing more money at the education bureaucracy isn’t the right path forward for our education system.  Our children and our classroom teachers need real reform.

What can YOU do to make sure that Prop 204 is defeated?

Here are some of the many ways you can get involved:

·        You can host a NO on Prop 204 speaker at your civic group.

·        You can drop off literature at the homes of voters in your precinct.

·        You can place a NO on Prop 204 yard sign on your front lawn

·       You can distribute NO on Prop 204 signs to your neighbors.

·        You can do what I did, and use glass paint to write “NO on Prop 204! Tax hikes will not fix our schools!” on the back window of your car…


AFP-Arizona hopes you will continue to stand with us in the fight to defeat Proposition 204! To get more involved in this effort, please contact Bill Fathauer at 480-332-0477 or bfathauer@afphq.org and learn more at www.votenoon204.com.

For Liberty, Tom

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity

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No on Arizona Proposition 204 Releases New Ad – “15 Pages”

Today, The No New Taxes, No on 204 campaign released a new ad featuring Arizona State Treasurer Doug Ducey. In the ad, Ducey explains that the 15-page ballot measure will raise our taxes $1 BILLION PERMANENTLY on an annual basis to fund a bigger Arizona bureaucracy!

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This gargantuan tax increase will also give Arizona the SECOND LARGEST SALES TAX in the country!

This election, let’s stop the big union education establishment from taking more of our tax dollars to feed their bureaucracy! Vote NO on Proposition 204 and tell the education unions enough is enough!

Vote NO on 204!

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