Arizona Proposition 204: No tax rate should be permanent

| October 28 2012

One of the most outlandish aspects of the Proposition 204 power grab is the permanent increase in the state sales tax rate. It is a poison pill that should sink the initiative on Election Day.

No tax rate should be permanent. Elected officials should always have the authority to set tax rates to meet changing economic conditions and the will of the taxpayers.

The one-cent increase would give Arizona the second highest sales tax in the nation, a sure fire way to gouge family budgets and hurt every business in the state. The regressive sales tax hits low and medium income the hardest. It makes everything consumers buy more expensive.

The Proposition 204 sales tax increase is a shameless exploitation of the genuine financial crisis in 2010 during the darkest days of the recession when state tax revenue went way down. Both taxpayers and lawmakers rallied to increase the sales tax rate by one cent to fund education and other essential services.

Everyone understood that the sales tax increase was temporary. It is set to expire next year. Proposition 204 supporters want to exploit the 2010 crisis, make the tax hike permanent, and take tax policy out of the hands of state lawmakers.

No wonder every business group in the state opposes Proposition 204. Every taxpayer should oppose it too. It is bad tax policy that should be rejected on November 6.

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