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The Goldwater Institute Positions on 2012 Ballot Initiatives

November 14, 2014

With so many initiatives on the ballot this year, it can be hard to keep them all straight.  Here is a helpful guide you can use when casting your ballot.

Prop 114 – Goldwater Institute has No Position

Prop 114 would amend the state constitution to prevent crime victims from being subject to a legal claim for damages for causing death or injury to a person who is harmed when engaging in, attempting to engage in, or fleeing after having engaged in a felony offense.

Prop 115 – Goldwater Institute has No Position

Prop 115 makes various changes to the way judges are selected. Currently, potential judges are selected by a State Bar committee and then a short list is sent to the Governor from which to choose. This law would authorize a committee whose attorney members are nominated by the state bar to give one recommendation to the Governor, and the Governor’s office would produce the rest of the potential names themselves. This change will give the Governor more power to select judges and takes away power from the State Bar. It would also increase the term of office for Supreme Court justices and Appellate and superior court judges to eight years. The judicial retirement age is also increased from 70 to 75.

Prop 116 – Yes

Prop 116 would amend the Arizona Constitution by increasing the value of personal property used in agriculture, trade and business which is exempt from the personal property tax. The threshold of taxation would be raised from $70,000 to $2.4 million, exempting almost all small businesses from the personal property tax. This will be good for economic growth and for the business climate in Arizona.

Prop 117 – Yes

Prop 117 would limit the growth of the primary taxable value of real property – like houses and land — to no greater than 5 percent each year. Prop 117 would simplify the property tax system and more strictly limit property taxes. This proposal will also insulate taxpayers from dramatic increases in their tax bills that result from major fluctuations in the real estate market.

Prop 118 – Goldwater Institute has No Position

Prop 118 amends the state Constitution to change the formula used to calculate the amount of the annual distribution from the permanent state land fund to its beneficiaries for a nine-year period beginning fiscal 2012-13. The new formula distributes 2.5 percent of the average monthly market values of the fund for the immediately preceding five calendar years. The largest beneficiaries of revenues from this fund are elementary, middle, and high schools in Arizona.

Prop 119 – Goldwater Institute has No Position

Prop 119 would allow exchanges of state trust land when the exchange is related to either protecting military installations or managing lands so they can be leased or sold.

Prop 120 – Yes

Prop 120 would amend the state constitution with language asserting state sovereignty and authority to manage the land and natural resources of the state of Arizona.

Prop 121 – No

Prop 121 seeks to eliminate party primaries and instead send the top two vote-getters in a primary to the general election, regardless of party. The Institute opposes Prop 121 because it will limit voter’s choices in the general election. To learn more about Prop 121, click on the links below:

Prop 121’s Dirty Little Secret

Will Arizona’s Proposition 121 Hurt or Help Political Parties?

Prop 204 – No

Prop 204 would increase the state sales tax to fund education. But there is no guarantee in the Proposition that the money raised will go to the classroom. In fact, instead of a “dedicated” revenue source for education, not even 75 percent of the money raised will be spent on public schools, while a variety of special interest groups will benefit from the rest. This proposition will send more money to schools without a focus on improvement. The Goldwater Institute opposes Prop 204. To learn more, click on the links below:

Prop 204 Supporters See What They Want to See

Déjà vu on Tax Increases

Misplaced Priorities of the Prop 204 Campaign

The Myth of Education Cuts and Why Money Can’t Buy an A+



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