Prop 310 Is a Massive Tax Increase That Will Shrink Arizona Jobs

Prop 310 Is a Massive Tax Increase That Will Shrink Arizona Jobs

Proponents of the Prop 310 tax increase tell voters it would cost just a penny when they buy coffee or just 10 cents when buying dinner to help fund “under-resourced” fire districts. But make no mistake, Prop 310 is a big tax hike. A new study by The Commonsense Institute, finds Prop 310 will cost taxpayers $5.5 billion over the next 20 years. On top of the bill footed by taxpayers, the Institute estimates it will result in the loss of thousands of jobs, shrinking our economy by $7.4 billion and reducing personal income by $8.55 billion over the lifetime of the tax.

Those are the consequences all 7 million Arizonans face under Prop 310 to fund fire districts that serve 1.5 million residents. These are the same districts with members who have been convicted of embezzling tens of thousands and even millions of taxpayer dollars for their own benefit, used the taxpayers’ debit card for thousands in personal purchases, and wastefully spent or mismanaged their existing tax dollars, racking up millions in pension debt.

Now they want a bailout from the rest of the state with a one-size-fits-all tax hike—a tax more than half of which will be allocated to just 12 districts that already make up more than half of the current revenue and spending. This means that under Prop 310, the best funded districts will be even better funded, while the worst funded will get the least, as the remaining 132 districts will get whatever is left over.

That’s the wrong approach.

Prop 310 isn’t just bad tax policy, it’s lazy legislating. Despite having a $5 billion surplus in 2022, lawmakers chose to refer a substantial tax increase to the ballot rather than prioritize accordingly. The legislature could have held actual hearings, received testimony, investigated the underlying issues in each of the districts, and worked to craft targeted solutions that don’t result in soaking all taxpayers. Instead, they avoided doing the real work, and punted their problems to the voters.

Voters should demand better from their lawmakers. After all, taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay more because politicians are bad at their jobs.

Instead, they rubber stamped a proposal that gives themselves no oversight and gives taxpayers no representation. The millions of Arizonans who don’t live in a fire district won’t have a vote. And those who do live in one district won’t have a vote in the other 143. Don’t like the way districts are spending your tax dollars? Too bad. With Prop 310, the tax isn’t going anywhere, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

But there were and still are other options. The legislature will likely have another surplus next year, (thanks to prior tax cuts). Saying no to a tax hike doesn’t mean saying no to public safety. It means voters want lawmakers to do their jobs and come up with a plan that doesn’t burden taxpayers further. Arizona voters should do just that and vote no on Prop 310.

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Arizona Will Get to Enjoy a 2.5% Flat Tax a Year Sooner Than Expected

Arizona Will Get to Enjoy a 2.5% Flat Tax a Year Sooner Than Expected

In just a few short months, Arizona will officially have the lowest flat income tax rate in the country. Governor Ducey announced last week that the Department of Revenue will be implementing the final stage of individual income tax rate and bracket reductions to a single 2.5% flat rate in 2023, a year sooner than originally planned. This is great news for Arizona taxpayers and job creators as well as the overall economic outlook of the state for years to come.

Given what is coming out of Washington, D.C. these days, this news couldn’t have come at a better time. Joe Biden has declared war on the U.S. economy—raising taxes on job creators, juicing the IRS with 87,000 new agents, and pushing a spending agenda that has resulted in the Phoenix Metro area having the highest inflation in the country. Arizona families are getting crushed by Sleepy Joe, making this tax cut even more significant.

It is amazing to think that it wasn’t that long ago that our economic fortunes looked a lot different than today. Just two years ago, Arizona was facing the prospect of the largest tax increase in state history—a doubling of our state income tax due to Proposition 208. If allowed to go into effect, Prop 208 would have resulted in Arizona having the 9th highest income tax in the country.

Thankfully, through the work of the GOP-controlled legislature, Governor Ducey, and countless organizations and taxpayers throughout the state, Arizona went from having a top income tax rate of 8% (thanks to Prop 208) to our new 2.5% flat tax. This was accomplished with no help from the Democrats who voted in lockstep against the largest tax cut in state history. One member even called it racist.

As with most major reforms, it wasn’t all smooth sailing once the flat tax was passed in 2021. Immediately after it was signed into law, a group that included the teachers’ union Stand for Children and legislative Democrats worked to block implementation of the tax package and refer the measure to the ballot. But just like Prop 208, this effort failed after the Supreme Court determined, in a lawsuit filed by the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, that their referendum was unconstitutional.

Now, Arizona taxpayers will get to enjoy this massive tax cut starting in 2023. And not only will this flat tax result in smaller tax bills, but it will also bolster Arizona’s economy and jobs in the face of rising inflation and a shrinking GDP at the national level. In fact, it is estimated to bring 8,033 jobs and increase Arizona’s GDP by $1.6 billion next year alone.

After defeating the Left’s tax hike in court, passing the largest tax cut in state history, and successfully defending it from being referred to the ballot, Arizona is now back on track. With our state on the verge of electing Kari Lake as Governor and expanding our legislative majorities with more conservatives, even better days of economic prosperity are on the way.

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Katie Hobbs’ Claim That She Won’t Raise Taxes Is a Bold-Faced Lie

Katie Hobbs’ Claim That She Won’t Raise Taxes Is a Bold-Faced Lie

In between dodging questions about why she won’t debate Kari Lake and holding school choice funds hostage, Katie Hobbs has been making some curious campaign promises lately. And none have been more suspect than what she claims is her current position on tax hikes.

After dragging her feet on the issue, Hobbs finally made her stance known last month when she declared that she has no plans to raise taxes if elected governor. Then, like a good Democrat who promises everything under the sun, she took it one step further, claiming that she would cut taxes for 800,000 Arizona families.

But anyone who has followed Hobbs’ political career knows that this is just another outrageous lie. During her time in the state legislature, Katie Hobbs regularly opposed tax cuts for families while making it a habit to support multiple tax hikes.

In 2015, while serving as Minority Leader of the Arizona Senate, Hobbs opposed HB2001. This bill, which was passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Ducey, protects taxpayers from paying more in taxes due to inflation. Interestingly enough, inflation is the apparent reason for her new “plan” to cut taxes. It’s actually the first word in one of her latest ads. But if cutting taxes because of inflation was so important to Hobbs, maybe she would care to explain why she voted against HB2001.

Of course, this isn’t the only legislation that calls Hobbs’ tax plan into question.

In 2017, she supported a 4/10 of a cent sales tax increase, costing taxpayers around $500 million annually. Then she got really busy going after your wallet in 2018. During that year, Hobbs supported HB2166, a $32 alternative fuel vehicle license tax that was so unpopular it was repealed after Hobbs left the state legislature. But she didn’t stop there. She also sponsored SB1316, legislation that would have DOUBLED the gas tax. Had this bill been passed, it would have been one of the largest tax hikes in Arizona history! And if that’s not enough, she sponsored SB1324 to hire 131 new auditors and tax collectors at the Arizona Department of Revenue.

That sounds a lot like the part of the “Build Back Broke” plan that creates a slush fund for the IRS to hire 87,000 new agents, doesn’t it?

The fact of the matter is that it was a Republican governor and Republican legislature that delivered historic tax cuts to every single Arizona taxpayer. And thankfully, that relief will now be experienced one year earlier than originally planned.

If she’s so concerned about cutting taxes, you would think Katie Hobbs would be celebrating that. But you’ll get nothing of the sort from her. Hobbs has spent her political career trying to squeeze every possible dollar from your bank account. As you prepare to vote this November, the only question you need to ask yourself is: Do you believe what Hobbs is saying now or her 10-year record of screwing Arizona taxpayers?

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ESA Signature Blunder Shows There’s No Math Quite Like ‘Save Our Schools’ Math

ESA Signature Blunder Shows There’s No Math Quite Like ‘Save Our Schools’ Math

What’s the difference between 141,714 and 88,866? Take a few seconds to do the math, and feel free to use a calculator if you’d like.

If you answered 52,848, you’re correct! Congratulations and give yourself a pat on the back because your math skills are far superior to those of Save Our Schools (SOS) and the rest of Arizona’s teachers’ unions.

On Friday, SOS Executive Director Beth Lewis boldly proclaimed—with all the confidence in the world—that the wall of boxes she was standing in front of contained the signatures of 141,714 Arizona voters who supported a ballot initiative aimed at overturning universal Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA) in Arizona. She was giddy. Her supporters cheered. SOS declared blocking universal school choice for all a “historic victory.” And corporate media jumped on the opportunity to push their narrative, accepting everything SOS said at face value. 

But there was a problem. And that’s where simple math comes into play.

An open records request by Christine Accurso, who led the Decline to Sign movement, showed that SOS fudged the numbers. And the Goldwater Institute revealed that the group only submitted 88,866 total signatures, well short of their initial declaration and the 118,843 needed to repeal the new ESA law via ballot referendum.

Certainly, things are moving fast when you’re gathering signatures and rushing to hit a deadline. Petition gathering is difficult, so it’s not out of the ordinary to be a little off on your initial estimate. But to miss the mark by more than 52,000?!? They weren’t even close!!!

Once their faulty math was exposed, SOS scrambled to make excuses for their debacle. And once again, members of corporate media like Joe Dana were quick to do their bidding and try to soften the blow. The group claimed that their faulty counts were “necessarily estimates” in the overwhelming final days of their campaign. And after backpedaling on her signature count, Beth Lewis couldn’t help but share, “This is not us being hacks, this is us being volunteers with our hair on fire.”

Can you see through the lies yet? They lied about their numbers. They fooled their supporters into believing they were victorious. And then Beth calls herself a volunteer despite the fact that she’s the paid executive director of Save Our Schools.

None of these people should by anywhere near our schools with their common core math, yet these rabid school choice opponents are heralded by the media as the leading “experts” to improve K-12 education. It’s no wonder why a majority of Arizona students continue to fail statewide testing. To SOS and the teachers’ unions, indoctrinating students with their latest woke curriculum will always matter more than teaching kids reading, writing, and arithmetic.

In the aftermath of this nonsense, students and parents are left to deal with the real-world consequences. The new ESA law is now blocked while Secretary of State Katie Hobbs takes her sweet time counting the number of signatures that we already know has fallen short. And taxpayers get to fund this work as her office processes this charade.

But Katie can’t run and hide from this one. It’s only a matter of time until the process reveals the truth we already know. Save Our Schools wasn’t even close in its bid to upend school choice in Arizona. This is a huge victory for parents throughout our state. And it just goes to show, once again, why the Decline to Sign Movement to defend school choice is the perfect example of how to fight back against the Left.

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The Decline to Sign Movement to Defend School Choice Is the Perfect Example of How to Fight Back

The Decline to Sign Movement to Defend School Choice Is the Perfect Example of How to Fight Back

Save Our Schools Arizona is clearly frustrated in its mission to stop families from having the freedom of school choice. For a few months now, the group has been gathering signatures throughout Arizona for a ballot initiative aimed at overturning universal Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA). You know…the law that was passed this summer to ensure every child gets the education they deserve. The one that even some Democrats and prominent black leaders like Pastor Drew Anderson fought for. The law that actually saves taxpayers money and was so popular that its launch overwhelmed the Arizona Department of Education’s website!

That’s what Save Our Schools is fighting against. And they likely thought their efforts to deceive the public about the nature of ESAs would go uncontested. But they were wrong.

Not long after Save Our Schools started its signature gathering, an organic movement of parents, teachers, and community organizers led by Christine Accurso hit the streets and social media to combat the lies peacefully. With basically no funding, the group—known as Decline to Sign Arizona—has met Save Our Schools at every turn to help every petition signer understand the truth about what they are signing. They stood on street corners in 110-degree weather. They alerted business owners when their private property was being used by Save Our Schools without permission to collect signatures. And they mobilized to have a presence anywhere Save Our Schools showed up—all in the name of protecting school choice.

While we should know by the end of this week if Save Our Schools has the 118,823 valid signatures to get on the ballot, it’s clear that the Decline to Sign movement has left them frustrated. Just look at this weekend’s Twitter meltdown from Save Our Schools director Beth Lewis. It has all the usual signs of a group in desperation:

    • Calling the peaceful protestors MAGA extremists…check.
    • Accusing Decline to Sign of “interfering with democracy…” check.
    • Avoiding persuasive facts and continuing to peddle lies by falsely labeling ESAs as vouchers…check.

If Save our Schools’ ballot initiative was worthwhile, you would think its director could avoid the name-calling and simply sell her viewpoint. But instead, she pulls from the Left’s predictable playbook to work the “Trump” name into her rant in a Hail Mary attempt to get some attention.

Maybe it will work this time. Maybe Save Our Schools will wind up with enough signatures to get on the ballot. But regardless of the outcome, the Decline to Sign movement has become the perfect illustration of how to fight back against the Left.

It doesn’t take millions of dollars spent on consultants, advertising, and politicians to do your bidding. You get on the ground, hit the streets, and fight. You make them squirm. You make passionate and reasoned arguments based on facts until they expose themselves by abandoning their talking points and resorting to name-calling.

This is how you beat the Left.

Right now, it’s for school choice, which, as Pastor Drew says, is the civil rights issue of our generation. But the battles won’t stop there. Even if conservatives control the legislature and the executive branch, the Left will keep fighting. That’s why it’s critical that the people are there to meet them at every turn. We can’t sit back on the sidelines and expect our elected leaders to do it all. It’s time for conservatives to step up. Thankfully, Decline to Sign Arizona has given us the playbook.

Help Protect Freedom in Arizona by Joining Our Grassroots Network

Arizona needs to have a unified voice promoting economic freedom and prosperity, and the Free Enterprise Club is committed to making that happen. But we can’t do it alone. We need YOU!

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Arizona Free Enterprise Club Releases Final Endorsements for Judicial Retention and Local Races

Arizona Free Enterprise Club Releases Final Endorsements for Judicial Retention and Local Races

Phoenix, AZ – Today, the Arizona Free Enterprise Club announced their final slate of General Election endorsements for 2022, including judicial retention races.     

The endorsed individuals align with the organization’s principles and key policy goals. Club President Scot Mussi stated, “It is critical Arizona has leaders and policy makers who are able to articulate and stand up for individual liberties, free market principles, conservative values, and protect against government overreach at the state and at the local level. This slate of candidates can and will. Additionally, it is imperative we have strong members of the judiciary who understand their role in interpreting law, not writing it from the bench, and we urge voters to retain these individuals who have a solid record of doing just that.”

Legislative

LD 5 House
Jennifer Treadwell

LD 8 Senate
Roxana Hozepfel             

LD 21 House
Deborah McEwen

School Board

EVIT – District 5                                                                                               
Cien Hyatt Luke                                                

Dysart
Jennifer Drake
Dawn Densmore

Fountain Hills
Madicyn Reid 

Peoria                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Heather Rooks                                                                                                                 
Devon Updegraff-Day                   

Prescott
Linda Conn (2-year term)
Michele Hamer (4-year term)                                                    

Judicial Retention

Arizona Supreme Court
Hon. James P. Beene
Hon. William G. Montgomery                    

Court of Appeals Division I
Hon. Cynthia J. Bailey

Maricopa County Superior Court
Hon. Bradley Astrowsky
Hon. Alison S. Bachus
Hon. Robert I. Brooks
Hon. Rusty D. Crandell
Hon. Jennifer Green
Hon. Michael J. Herrod
Hon. Joseph S. Kiefer
Hon. Susanna C. Pineda
Hon. Michael Z. Rassas
Hon. Tracey Westerhausen
Hon. Cassie Woo

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