May 2, 2010
Okay, Arizona voters have been asked to vote on whether to raise the state sales tax 1%. Some claim that it'll boost revenue and be some sort of help to the state's budget mess. Some claim it's not a fix and will only hurt AZ. There are so many different groups for and against this tax like that it's confusing. And the down right nasty threats by lawmakers to voters, disguised as alternatives to voters passing the tax, is simply horrible.
Despite all of the pros & cons for and against the tax increase being spread throughout the state's news outlets, one tidbit of information that is missing significantly effects the state's huge deficit and must be considered when voting for or against the 1% tax increase. The Arizona Dept. of Corrections budget is giant and still growing by the month. Unlike other state funded agencies and programs, ADOC's budget has not taken severe cuts. ADOC has been actually spared the ax, despite demands for budget cuts to all agencies.
I hate to be a doubting Thomas, but...if you raise taxes to generate more revenue, but you do not fix the problem agency that is sucking more and more money every month from that revenue pool (the General Fund), isn't it a waste? Sure, there may be a few additional drops in the state's already drying coffer if a tax increase is passed, but without significant changes in AZ law regarding sentencing, good-time credits, and cuts to ADOC, the tax increase will hardly supply ADOC's ever expanding budget, let alone save or restore any other agencies or programs.
Lawmaker's threats to return around 13,000 ADOC prisoners to county jails, pushing the burden on counties, if the tax is not passed by voters should tell you where that revenue will go if the tax increase is passed. The ADOC!
3 days ago