Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Proposition 204 – the so-called Quality Education and Jobs Initiative on the November ballot is a direct assault on accountability for the spending of public funds collected through direct taxation on millions of Arizona citizens.
Accountability is a fancy word for answering for one’s responsibilities and commitments. Our democracy gives us the right to elect the governor and state legislature. They are stewards of the state’s tax money. Voters hold them accountable for how they spend the money. If voter’s do not like their performance they can vote them out of office.
Proposition 204 violates this basic principle of government by the consent of the governed. It collects at least $1 billion a year through a permanent one-cent increase in the state sales tax rate. The money is then earmarked for spending programs and prohibits input from the peoples’ elected representatives.
This pet project fund makes no allowance for changing budget conditions or the overall fiscal health of the state. It raises taxes without representation.
Proposition 204 provides millions for education spending from everything from K-12 to universities. Nevertheless, it adds spending for health and human services programs as well as road building and the environment.
Arizona is one of 24 states that give citizens the initiative and referendum device used to legislate outside the elected state legislature. The mandated spending represented by Proposition 204 robs the people of control of their own money. It should be defeated.