Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Arizona Raises Sales Tax to Pay for Public Services...Huh?

I’m stunned, shocked and stunned.

Here in Wisconsin, the last thing a Republican would be caught doing is raising taxes during a recession, or anytime for that matter. We would cut thousands of teachers, close schools, cut law enforcement, sell off parks, privatize public services and disband county government first, before deciding to never raise the sales tax. They’re nuts here.

But in the crazy right wing state of Arizona, the most boycotted place in the world, Republicans pushed a sales tax increase to pay for schools, health care and law enforcement. After ragging all week over banning ethnic studies in public schools, I’m not sure how to react to the following “sanity.”

Arizona voters on Tuesday approved a temporary sales tax increase championed by a Republican governor who, despite angering conservative supporters, embraced it as the only way to avert sharp cuts in education and other services. The one-cent increase in the sales tax, to 6.6 cents per dollar for the next three years, is expected to raise more than $900 million in the first year … close a gaping hole in the budget wrought by a 30 percent decline in revenue in a state among the hardest hit by foreclosures.

Had the tax failed, a contingency budget approved by the legislature would have cut money for schools, health care, state police officers and other services.
I’m sitting here trying to imagine one candidate for governor, Republican or Democrat, willing to say what Gov. Brewer said defending a TAX INCREASE:

“Doing the right thing almost always means doing the hard thing, and today, you did the hard thing,” Ms. Brewer said from a middle school stage
Hard core Republican voters acted just as surreal:
“It goes against almost everything I believe in but the state would have been hurt really bad without it,” said Paul Mercer, 62, a Republican supporter. “I hope it is the one time I do this.”
Arizona is one of the few states to pass a tax increase to pay their bills. I’m stunned.

No comments:

Post a Comment