And in another eye-popping contribution, the Arizona Automobile Dealers Association contributed $339,000 to help defeat the 1-cent initiative.
In fact, money has been pouring into the campaign’s coffers in the last few days.
Counting only big-dollar contributions that were reported this month alone, Quality Education and Jobs, the group that is behind the 1-cent initiative, received $520,000 from four groups, including the teachers association.
The other contributors were We Build Arizona, a coalition of construction and design-related groups, the Children’s Action Alliance, and the Arizona Education Parent Network.
Meanwhile, the opposition campaign has also been raising funds at a healthy clip.
This month, No New Taxes, No on Prop. 204 collected almost $460,000, including $10,000 from former Intel executive Craig Barrett.
The other contributors were the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, which gave $60,000, and the Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company, which gave $50,000.
If approved by voters this November, the state will start collecting the one-penny tax once the current temporary sales tax increase expires next year. The bulk of the revenues from the 1-cent tax will go to schools. Significant sums will also be aside for roads and welfare programs.
Backers portray the initiative as the antidote to a lack of education funding.
But critics say it locks into place a sales tax rate that is among the highest in the nation, and no “reform” measures are tied to the dollars that would go to school districts.