What if you got a letter from the state asking for a donation to help balance the state's budget? Would you give? As crazy as that sounds, some lawmakers think you should, and worse, they don't even want to give you the option.
According to the East Valley Tribune, one prominent lawmaker wants to raise property taxes:
Assistant Senate Minority Leader Senator Jorge Garcia has his sights set particularly on an early end to the three-year suspension of a state property tax, a move that would bring in nearly $200 million. "The reality is, I would love to do it," he said.
There are numerous problems with Senator Garcia's line of thinking. First, raising property taxes at the same time that property taxes are already going up at the local level will only exacerbate Arizona's housing and economic problems. Second, shouldn't Senator Garcia propose at least some modest budget cuts before he asks his constituents to pay higher taxes? It takes a brave man to tell his Tucson constituents that after voting to build the Yuma Welcome Center with public money, he'd like to raise their taxes to get out of a financial mess.
Until Senator Garcia and other lawmakers cut all the fat out of the budget, all they're really saying is that Arizona families must tighten their belts so the state doesn't have to.
Steve Voeller is president of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club
East Valley Tribune: Governor seeks otherwise to offset expected shortfall
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