The Arizona Free Enterprise Club (AFEC) added its support to the growing group endorsing Proposition 132, which is set to appear on the November ballot. The proposition, if passed, will require a 60 percent majority of voters on any ballot measure that approves a tax.
“Today’s tax increase may not affect you, but tomorrow’s most certainly will. Allowing 51% of the population (who probably don’t have to pay the tax increase) to vote to tax the other 49% that do have to pay it, is wrong. And eventually, you will be in the minority,” AFEC President Scot Mussi said.
Proposition 132 was initially presented to the Arizona House as House Concurrent Resolutions (HCR) 2015 and was primarily sponsored by State Representative Tim Dunn (R-Yuma). It passed the House along party lines to Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’s (D) desk in June.
According to HCR 2015’s text, any initiative or referendum “to approve a tax” can only become law when receiving 60 percent of the votes cast. Currently, ballot measures in Arizona are approved when a simple majority (50.01 percent) of voters approve them. Moreover, the resolution states that the governor’s veto power “shall not extend” to tax-related initiatives that reach the new majority. The legislature will also not have the power to repeal and amend one of these tax initiatives or referendums or divert funds created by them.
The AFEC shared that this proposition will help Arizona in the future and make it so “disastrous” legislation like Proposition 208 cannot have a chance to pass again.
Proposition 208 was on the 2020 ballot and narrowly passed with 51.75 percent of the vote. Under this proposition, single filers earning more than $250,000 per year and joint filers making more than $500,000 received a 3.5 percent tax increase. Moreover, the Goldwater Institute shared that 50 percent of the taxpayers directly affected by Proposition 208 would be small business owners, and roughly $2.4 billion in state and local tax revenues would be lost in 10 years of implementation.
However, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that the initiative’s funding provisions did not fall under the constitution’s definition of a “grant” and that those provisions were not separable, sending the case back to the lower court, where the Maricopa County Superior Court overturned the initiative.
The AFEC shared that while Arizona avoided Proposition 208, “there will be more efforts like it,” and Proposition 132 provides a chance for Arizonans to better voice their opinions and ensure that any legislation that takes from their paycheck has “broad agreement from every part of the state.”
According to Dunn, the Arizona Legislature must have a supermajority, or two-thirds majority, to vote on any tax increase, so it is “only fair that voters have the same safeguard at the ballot box.”
Furthermore, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R) also shared support for Proposition 132, which he said can put out-of-state special interest groups in check.
“Requiring a 60% vote for a tax hike also means putting a check on out-of-state special interest groups. In recent years, we’ve seen groups from San Francisco and Portland spend tens of millions of dollars pushing initiatives to raise our taxes for their pet causes. That’s not right,” Ducey said. “Please join me in voting “YES” on Proposition 132 to prevent out-of-state groups from taking advantage of Arizona families to fund their own narrow interests at the ballot box.”
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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Wallet” by Kendel Media.