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Our Weekly Newsletter: May 4, 2010

Please visit our website post for the original post, or to sign up for our newsletter to receive it directly to your inbox:

In this edition:
Legislature Completes Session
Your Prop. 100 Questions Answered
Lemonade & More!


Arizona Legislature Completes Session

The Legislature completed its session late in the evening of April 29.

First the good news. Several attempts to undo voter-protected programs failed. The first, SCR 1033, would have allowed the Legislature to divert funds from voter-approved programs and deposit them into the general fund. The second, HCR 2041, would have required every ballot measure (except Indian Gaming) to repeal after eight years. If the bills had passed, they would have undone Prop. 301, which helps fund teacher pay and other education programs.

But not all voter-approved mandates emerged unscathed this year. On November 2, voters will be asked to rescind First Things First, a program that provides infants and toddlers with a solid foundation to succeed in school. In 2006, voters passed First Things First, approving a tobacco tax to pay for early childhood programs such as quality childcare, preventative health care and parenting classes. In March, the Legislature mustered the votes to pass HCR 2001, which would transfer the program’s $325 million into the general fund for other uses. The Legislature rejected offers by early childhood advocates to loan the state money from the fund.

In the last push to the finish line, the Legislature passed several bills related to education funding and reform. AEN is reviewing those bills for an update in a later post.


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Your Prop. 100 Questions Answered

As we head into the home stretch for the Prop. 100 vote (the May 18 vote is only two weeks away) we want to keep you up to date. Last week, we published a list of commonly heard concerns about Prop. 100, with research-based responses. Here is a new concern and a clarification.

Is it true that the one-cent temporary sales tax will cost the average Arizona family $400 a year?

An Arizona family of four would have to spend $40,000 dollars a year on sales-taxable items for that to be the case. According to the US Census American Community Survey of State Median Income by Family Size in the past twelve months (2008 inflation adjusted dollars) the median income of a four-person Arizona family was $69,452. Considering that many expenses such as mortgages and services are exempt from sales tax, it is highly unlikely that the average Arizona family would pay anywhere near $400 more in sales taxes.

Based on input from a reader, we are clarifying the answer to the following objection to Prop. 100 published last week.

Why are some people saying Prop. 100 is really an 18% increase?

The 18% refers to the increase in the current tax rate of 5.6% to the proposed rate of 6.6% (if Prop. 100 passes). That is a simple mathematical difference of 17.85%. By calling Prop. 100 an 18% increase, opponents have created the misperception that the increase is really 18 cents on the dollar. Prop. 100 is a one-percent sales tax increase or one-cent on each dollar spent-ONE PENNY! If you purchase a DVD player for one hundred dollars you would pay an additional one dollar, not an additional eighteen dollars.

100 Stands for Education: Turning Lemons into Lemonade

A Tucson family came up with a fun and family-friendly way to turn “lemons into lemonade” to raise statewide awareness of the importance of K-12 education and promote Prop. 100.

Join other Arizonans this Saturday, May 8, in setting up a Prop. 100 lemonade stand as part of “100 Stands for...

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