Obviously my efforts and those of countless others have worked. This week, Senator J.D. Mesnard and Representative Ben Toma announced that they had introduced "two measures aimed at conforming Arizona's income tax code to federal changes while offsetting the resulting increase in state taxes."
Earlier this month, Mesnard said that Governor Doug Ducey's plans for tax reform will result in a "tax increase and the largest one in modern history."(1)
The residents in Pima County District 1 can ill-afford a tax increase. Already they are reeling from the massive tax increase on vehicle licensing that went into effect on the first of the year.
Governor Ducey's staff deny that that the Vehicle Licensing Tax (VLT) increase is a tax- they call it a fee. Of course, that same staff called the Governor's proposed response to tax reform "elegant." (2)
Fortunately, Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita has introduced legislation that will eliminate the fee. It is unfortunate that she can't introduce a bill that eliminates the type of semantic game playing by too many of my fellow elected officials that is choking our small business owners and preventing economic growth.
Last year, while fighting for you at the Legislature, I saw first hand many of the different types of games being played while my constituents are hard at work. It was eye-opening, but disappointing.
My constituents elected me to fight for them. Whether it be at the Pima County Board of Supervisors dais, or wrangling with bureaucrats over Highway User Revenue Fund use, I am unafraid to take on those who want to take your money.
Already, Sen. Sylvia Allen's sales tax bill has made it through the Senate Education Committee, which she chairs. Tax increase efforts don't stop there. Plans have been cooked-up at the Legislature to make it easier to raise sales and other types of taxes. They should be working to make it harder to raise taxes - not easier.
The fact that the Pima County Administrator and some members of the Board of Supervisors have approved massive lobbying contracts to make raising taxes on you easier is unacceptable. Lobbyists like Mr. Michael Racy are paid for with your tax dollars, and it is shameful.
Because of these shameful practices, I am calling on my fellow supervisors, other elected officials across the state, and you to join me in my effort to fight against any proposal that will raise taxes on our already strapped taxpayers.
Only together can we stop the game playing. Only together can we prevent "elegant" solutions to problems our politicians created in the first place.
Currently, I am working with the folks at the Arizona People's Lobbyist. The founder of the organization, Jose Borrajero, tirelessly fights the corrupt cronies. To that end, his group's website provides quick access to communication lines to legislators. [VISIT AZPEOPLESLOBBYIST.COM]
Over the next few months, I will be working with the Arizona People's Lobbyist to make sure the engaged public is kept abreast of all activities going on at the Capitol. I encourage everyone to contact my office and find out how you can become involved in shaping important policies that someday might be shaping your life.
As evidenced by the efforts of Sen. Mesnard and Rep. Toma, there are lawmakers trying to do the right thing. It is important that we applaud their efforts and encourage their fellow legislators to follow suit and work to decrease the tax and regulatory burdens on Arizona residents.