Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona
If only the Arizona Legislature could fix the state’s budget problems as quickly as they passed the corporate welfare package this week… sigh…
In a matter of days, Governor Jan Brewer proposed a $538 million corporate tax cut package, it was passed by both the House and the Senate— with no amendments allowed– and it is expected to be signed into law today. This is a travesty.
How does giving away more than a half-a-billion dollars in corporate welfare help a state that is millions– if not billions in debt– hasn’t balanced its budget in years and is closing schools and parks, laying off teachers, and killing healthcare for the poor? The answer: It doesn’t.
At just over 6 percent, Arizona already had one of the country’s lowest corporate tax rates, and we have one of the country’s worst economies, worst unemployment rates, and poorest k-12 school systems. Reducing the state’s corporate to 4.9 percent will help no one but the corporatists. Even House Speaker Kirk Adams admitted the lawmakers don’t know the impact of the new legislation. From the East Valley Tribune:
The votes in the House and Senate came after extensive debate about whether there’s proof that anything in the package will actually create a single job in the state. Even House Speaker Kirk Adams, R-Mesa, conceded there is no guarantee.
“But this much we know: By reducing taxes on business employers, on entrepreneurs, by getting competitive again, Arizona will finally, thankfully, be in the game,” he said.
None of the Democrats and a few Republicans in the Legislature voted against the corporate tax cut legislation. Some wanted to amend it; others complained that it was ramrodded through so quickly that legislators didn’t have time to read it.
What will the Chamber of Commerce and big-business lobbyists say to Governor Brewer today after she signs the corporate welfare bill into law? Wham. Bam. Thank you, ma’am.
Ironically, it was just a few short months ago (when Brewer was running for office), that she said there was “no way” she would support corporate tax cuts after asking the voters to approve a sales tax increase. Remember that sales tax increase we approved because they said it would fund k-12 education? Gotcha. They just gave that away!
What the New York Times’ Paul Krugman wrote recently about Republicans on the federal level holds true for Republicans in the Arizona Legislature: They are sacrificing our future.