ScrambleWatch Q&A: Democrat Nancy Young Wright on Taxes

Nancy Young WrightDemocrat Nancy Young Wright is running for a seat in Legislative District 26 House of Representatives. We asked her some questions on tax policy.

Do you support the repeal of the state property tax?

No, I do not. The state’s budget shouldn’t be weakened further by repealing taxes at this time. The County Equalization tax, which was suspended for three years, can help us balance our budget this year, and costs the average taxpayer about what they would spend on a pizza.

Do you support borrowing for school construction?

Yes. Arizona is the only state that tries to pay for school construction through cash reserves. It makes no sense to go into the red when we could borrow at a modest interest rate to build the schools our students need.

Any other quick thoughts you would like to add about tax or budget reform?

We need to create the budget in the open. The budget should be developed in the Appropriations committee; not behind closed doors. I’d be open to targeted tax cuts, but we must protect essential services such as education, essential human services and public safety, CPS and prisons.

ScrambleWatch Q&A: Republican Vic Williams on Taxes

Republican candidate Vic Williams is one of four candidates seeking a House of Representatives seat in Legislative District 26. We asked him some questions about taxes.

Do you support the repeal of the state property tax?

I believe our property taxes are too high and now is not the time to overtax people. I believe we need to look elsewhere for tax relief on individual properties.

Since it will cost the state $250 million, what should the state cut to make up for the lost revenue?

In my opinion we need to cut spending, maybe not all programs but we need to balance the budget by cutting spending across the board. If you take a look at our state, we’ve had a 70 percent increase in our budget in the last seven to 10 years and anytime you have that kind of increase in expenditures, I am sure that there are overlapping overheads, redundancies and wasteful spending. Secondly, as much as I want to see our school infrastructure grow, we may want to consider suspending new school infrastructure, for a time until we can pick up the slack.

Do you support borrowing for school construction?

Yes, absolutely. Before we go out and start bonding, however, we need to be cautious where we spend money when we’re in an economic downturn. I do support bonding for infrastructure and such but let’s focus right now on getting our fiscal health in order.

ScrambleWatch Q&A: Democrat Don Jorgensen on Taxes

Don Jorgensen is one of the Democratic candidates running for a seat in Legislative District 26 House of Representatives. We asked him some questions about tax policy.

Do you support the repeal of the state property tax?

No. Given projected budget deficits, it would be irresponsible to change the current agreement without identifying a replacement source for $250 million. Tax rebates are great in prosperous years and smart budgeting is necessary in lean years.

Do you support borrowing for school construction?

Yes. It is an accepted practice among many states, and a necessary step toward improving Arizona’s capacity to respond to 21st century public education needs and economic realities.  It also provides an opportunity for cost-efficient energy conservation measures.

Any other quick thoughts you would like to add about tax or budget reform?

I will work to demand transparency and invite public input during budget development, including hearings in southern Arizona. We can improve the tax system by eliminating many special interest deductions, tax credits and cut marginal income tax rates.  I support elimination of the Business Personal Property Tax that negatively impacts small business expansion. I favor smart infrastructure investment and tax rebates when Arizona’s budget grows healthy again.

 

ScrambleWatch Q&A: Republican Marilyn Zerull on Taxes

Marilyn Zerull is one of four candidates seeking the two seats in the House of Representatives in Legislative District 26. We asked her some questions on taxes.

Do you support the repeal of the state property tax?

I’m always in support of the repeal of any property tax.

SInce it will cost the state $250 million, what should the state cut to make up for the lost revenue?

Wasteful programs such as Planned Parenthood and some cuts in education, but only to support other parts of education. For instance, I don’t think the state should be paying for all-day daycare. I think that should be the responsibility of the parents. I also don’t believe we should be funding benefits for illegal aliens such as free health care and free education and all the freebies that we offer. I’m not familiar with all parts of the budget but I do know that the government can be run like a household. When the family gets hit with a crisis, the family has to cut back.

Do you support borrowing for school construction?

No, I think borrowing just puts the financial burden on future generations.

ScrambleWatch Q&A: Democrat Matt Heinz on Taxes

Democrat Matt Heinz is running for House of Representatives in LD29. We asked him some questions about tax policy.

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, stat 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.

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 is 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.

ScrambleWatch Q&A: Democrat Daniel Patterson on Taxes

Democrat Daniel Patterson is running for House of Representatives in LD29. We asked him some questions on 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 neeed 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 futrure, 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 sence, especially in this economic climate.

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 deaply 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.

ScrambleWatch Q&A: Republican Juan Ciscomani on Taxes

Republican Juan Ciscomani is running for House of Representatives in LD29.  We asked him some questions on tax policy.

Do you support the repeal of the state property tax?

Although ideal, it is not realistic to repeal the property tax given our current budget deficit.

Do you support borrowing for school construction?

Yes, if the construction is needed, if it is cost-effective to build now and if the life of the facility is longer than the life of the bonded indebtedness.

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

Times are difficult for people right now. The government should do what families have to do – cut expenses in order to live within their means.

ScrambleWatch Q&A: Republican Pat Kilburn on Taxes

Republican Pat Kilburn is running for House of Representatives in LD29.  We asked him some questions about tax policy.

Do you support the repeal of the state property tax?

Yes, with our economy in the shape it is in people and businesses don’t need to be taxed more

Since it will cost the state $250 million, what should the state cut to make up for the lost revenue?

None, if we bring in more businesses the revenue will increase

Do you support borrowing for school construction?

No, especially with some schools closing with lower enrollment.

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

I believe that by reducing the business equipment property tax we will bring in new companies and revenue will increase.

ScrambleWatch Q&A: Democrat Matt Heinz on Taxes

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

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 Continue reading

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 Continue reading

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