Republican Al Melvin is facing Rep. Pete Hershberger in the GOP primary for the Legislative District 26 Senate seat. ScrambleWatch asked him a few questions about state taxes.
Do you support the repeal of the state’s property tax?
I absolutely do.
Since it will cost the state $250 million, what should the state cut to make up for the lost revenue?
Well, I believe we need more tax cuts. I believe that Kennedy and Reagan and the current president have proven that lower taxes generate more economic activity. As we lower taxes, we need to cut wasteful spending. There’s a lot of waste out there.
When you say there’s a lot of wasteful spending, are there any specific areas where the state needs to dramatically cut back on spending?
I don’t understand why the Arizona Department of Transportation and other state departments should have paid lobbyists. I don’t think we should be spending so they can lobby the Legislature. But I think there’s something that can be said for lean and mean. … There should be a hiring freeze. … I think we should be looking at a 10 percent, 15 percent reduction in budgets (outside of K-12 education, prisons and the Department of Public Safety) and leave it to the department heads to figure out how to work it out.
Do you support a plan to borrow for school construction?
From what I’m hearing in the House and Senate versions of the budget, it’s inevitable. It’s a fait accompli.
Do you support the T.I.M.E. initiative that would raise the sales tax by a penny per dollar to pay for highway, rail and local transportation projects?
I’d like to see private toll roads. At this point, I’m not supporting that.