Do you support the repeal of the state property tax?
No, I think that we need that $250 million. At this point we can’t really afford to lose any of it. The state depends on these three legs: state income tax, state sales tax and state property tax. I don’t think we can afford to lose it and we also can’t afford to continue implementing the taxes that were put into effect in 2005-2006.
Do you support borrowing for school construction?
Yes. I think it needs to be approved on an as-needed basis and under very specific circumstances but in a deficit economy like we have, we really need to address advancing public education and that’s one of the ways to do it.
Would you vote for the TIME initiative, which would increase the sales tax by a penny per dollar to fund highway, rail and local transportation projects?
Yes. The reason I would support this is there are very few ways the legislature can successfully raise money to do anything. I just answered you that across the board we are not spending enough on anything to a certain degree or another. To get that income, to do that sales tax (which is generally viewed as an regressive tax) … to get that infrastructure in place … and get money, a lot of money actually, for alternative transportation–mass transit and the rail system between Tucson and Phoenix–is extremely important and cannot go through the legislature without a super-majority vote.
Any other quick thoughts on tax or budget reform you’d like to share?
In general, I’m pragmatic. I understand that we have a fee for service. We tax people for services. And right now the services we provide as a state, like health care, are not sufficient, education is not sufficient. And in many of these areas, like transportation, we’re way behind. We need to catch up. We need to pay attention to these things and we need to spend in a very targeted manner on the issues that are really important.