” . . . faster than lightning, No-one you see, is smarter than he . . .” ~ from “Flipper” TV series
Leadership was able to get Sen. Jack Harper, a signatory to the Americans for Tax Reforms’ (ATR) “No New Taxes Pledge,” to flip on the budget in a quid pro quo for what many viewed as minor concessions. Harper told Arizona Capitol Times an e-mail from ATR stating voting for the budget proposal didn’t violate the pledge he took when campaigning for the Legislature. There were some previously unreported developments within the ATR world that led to Harper’s decision to support a sales tax referral.
On July 29, ATR President Grover Norquist sent a “High ATR Alert” to Arizona pledge signers, saying it didn’t appear the tax bills in the budget package – a sales tax increase ballot referral in exchange for permanent repeal of the equalization rate, as well as permanent personal and corporate income tax reduction – would violate the pledge as long as the final legislation includes a severability clause so permanent session law tax cuts are not contingent upon passage of the sales tax increase by voters.
Sources say Sen. Ron Gould contacted Norquist or someone at ATR complaining pledge signers should not be let off the hook because the tax cuts, effective in 2012, could easily be eliminated with a simple majority of the Legislature.
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