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I’d like to be able to support it, but right now I cannot support it because it is far too heavy on spending for big outdated freeway projects, which are not going to do much to relieve our traffic problems, and the funding for transit projects is very small in that initiative,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