Prop 204 a giveaway to the construction industry

| October 25 2012

You have to hand it to the construction industry companies in Arizona that builds roads and public transit. They found a clever way to grab millions in taxpayer money every year without answering to the state legislators elected to spend public funds.

Proposition 204 is their route to riches. The Proposition would raise at least $1 billion a year by installing a one-cent permanent increase in the state sales tax rate. About $100 million a year would go to the construction industry. The proposition supporters claim that funds for education are somehow linked to jobs, meaning construction jobs.

This is a stretch beyond recognition. Voters all over Arizona must be scratching their heads and asking what in the world roads and light rail have to do with improving student performance in the classroom.

The answer, of course, is nothing. Proposition 204 supporters say only that their tax and spend scheme will help the state economy. Well-built and maintained roads and transit certainly help Arizona’s economy. But they should not be linked to education spending.

The construction industry got this sweetheart deal by pledging to help pay for the Proposition 204 campaign. A $100 million a year subsidy paid by taxpayers is a good deal in exchange for a campaign contribution. Voters should cancel the deal and vote no on Proposition 204.

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