ScrambleWatch Q&A: Democrat Daniel Patterson on Taxes

Democrat Daniel Patterson is running for House of Representatives in Legislative District 29.  We asked him some questions about tax policy.

Do you support the repeal of the state property tax?

I support doing what was already agreed. When that property tax cut was put in place, the state had a lot more money. But there was an agreement to let it sunset and that revenue is needed. I’m a homeowner; I have to pay that property tax just like everyone else does. We need that money, especially for education. It’s critical. I support sticking with the agreement that was made when that tax cut went into place. At some point in the future, if economic conditions make it possible, we can look at it again but I think with the budget crisis facing the state right now, it would be basically irresponsible to go back on the agreement that was made.

Do you support borrowing for school construction?

Yes I do, when needed, especially. It would be nice to be able to pay cash up front for everything but that’s just not the economic reality that we’re dealing with right now. I think bonding for school projects just makes sense, especially in this economic climate.

Would you vote for the TIME initiative, which increases the sales tax by a penny per dollar to fund highway, rail and local transportation projects?

I’d like to be able to support it, but right now I cannot support it because it is far too heavy on spending for big outdated freeway projects, which are not going to do much to relieve our traffic problems, and the funding for transit projects is very small in that initiative, compared to the funding for giant southern California style freeways.

Any other quick thoughts on tax or budget reform you’d like to share?

Well I think on education, it’s clear that I’m the strongest candidate. That’s why I got the endorsement of the teachers and the schools of the Arizona Education Association. I understand education closely and I care deeply about it with my daughter in public schools here in Tucson in TUSD.

On general economic issues I think its pretty clear I’m very much in touch with the voters in District 29. My wife and I don’t make a lot of money. I understand how it is and how difficult it can be to just pay your bills every month. We’ve got big problems right now. To me, the economy is the big issue in this election. I balance a budget at home. I’ll be able to help balance a budget in the state House.

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5 Responses

  1. My transportation tax comments got cut way down, and a key point was missed.

    The main reason I cannot support the TIME initiative is because it relies only on a 18% sales tax hike, and lets wealthy developers avoid fair impact fees. That’s not fair.

    Sales taxes harm low income people the most, and sales taxes are already high, nearly 10% in some AZ communities. This harms our economy.

    I strongly support improving our transportation system, especially with more investment in rail and other modes, but it should be paid for fairly, and using only sales tax increases to do it is not fair or wise.

    I am also disappointed the TIME plan has 400% more money for big roads as compared to rail and other alternatives. The time for change is now! We need some new roads, but the expensive giant roads excess planned by TIME is outdated and unwise in this time of peak oil, global warming and the public demand for real transportation alternatives.

    We can and must do better than TIME, and I will work cooperatively in the Legislature for a more balanced transportation proposal that is paid for in a fair way, and doesn’t just stick working people with the bill while rich developers pay little to nothing.

  2. Daniel: What would you consider to be a fair statewide impact fee per home for highway construction?

  3. Jim — It would be great if AZ leaders were discussing fair impact fees now, instead of just the sales tax hike, but the deal to get developers to pay for the TIME initiative has taken impact fees off the table, at least for now.

    see: http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/images/photos/2008/05/09/uotb8ilw.jpg

    A good place to start the discussion would be Pima County’s Roadway Development Impact Fees of $2629-4695.

    In the State House, I will listen and respectfully work with everyone to make sure growth pays for itself in a fair way, as the vast majority of Arizonans want and deserve.

  4. LD29 voters — There is only one choice in district 29 for economic justice and fair economic solutions, Daniel Patterson.

    Read: http://dpatterson.blogspot.com/2008/08/only-one-choice-in-ld29-for-fair.html

    The biggest eco group in AZ, Sierra Club, is opposing the TIME proposal because it offers too little for clean transportation.

    There is also a growing possibility, according to some reports, there may not be enough citizen support for TIME to even make the ballot.

  5. THE TIME FOR CHANGE IS NOW!
    and
    THERE IS ONLY ONE CHOICE!

    DANIEL PATTERSON, DEMOCRAT
    FOR STATE REPRESENTATIVE LD29

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