A recent survey found that 71 percent of Arizona small-business owners oppose passage of Proposition 100, the one-cent sales tax on the May 18 special election ballot. Our entrepreneurs and job-creators know instinctively that this tax increase is a bad deal for Arizona and the start, not the end, of further bad public policy decisions.
Last summer, President Obama said the last thing he wants to do is raise taxes in the middle of a recession. Proposition 100 is just the kind tax increase he was talking about; one that will depress consumer confidence and spending.
We must remember that Arizona taxpayers already pay the fifth-highest sales taxes in the U.S. Moreover, the average Arizonan annually pays $1,440.83 in sales tax, which is 43 percent above the national average.
Even its boosters admit in rare moments of candor that Prop. 100 is not a solution to the state’s unconstitutional deficit. Nor is it a roadmap to anything but larger spending cuts, further tax hikes and a stalled economic recovery. After passage of Prop. 100, the state’s structural deficit will remain at
$2.2 billion or more.
Proponents of Prop. 100 cynically seek to leave the impression that increasing the sales tax rate by
18 percent will protect popular spending programs. However, at best, the new revenue will be woefully inadequate and will fail miserably in saving those programs from deeper cuts. The math doesn’t lie. Prop. 100 will not halt the inevitable cuts to K-12 education, health care and public safety.
Prop. 100’s $3 billion tax increase is only “temporary” in so far as the precise voter-approved sales tax hike will go away after 36 months. Make no mistake, passage of Prop. 100 will be the beginning, not the end, of new tax increases. Don’t take my word on it, check Gov. Brewer’s and legislative budget drafts that include new property, electricity, gasoline, vehicle license and other tax hikes-regardless of Prop. 100’s success or failure.
Don’t give the politicians permission to raise taxes even more. Vote “no” on Prop. 100 and send the message that state government must prioritize, economize and downsize rather than load heavier tax burdens on our citizens and small businesses.
– Farrell Quinlan is Arizona state director for the National Federation of Independent Business.