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.

Three to Get Ready: A Look at the Legislative District 26 House Race

Trent Humphries

Originally published Aug. 28 in the Tucson Weekly

Republican Trent Humphries was flushed and dripping sweat as he rang a doorbell in the Del Webb neighborhood in northeast Tucson in mid-July. The man who answered wasn’t interested.

“I’m watching the All-Star Game,” the resident complained. “What do you want?”

It wasn’t the warmest greeting that Humphries experienced as he walked door-to-door in an effort to promote his campaign for a House seat in Legislative District 26, which stretches from Saddlebrooke through Oro Valley and across the Catalina Foothills.

But canvassing precincts is one of the old-fashioned ways that Humphries and his fellow LD26 Republicans–Vic Williams and Marilyn Zerull–have been introducing themselves to voters.

Vic Williams

All three are political rookies with little name ID coming into the campaign. Humphries, who owns a computer-repair company, was better known as “Framer,” his nom de guerre on a local blog he began penning during the 2006 election season. Williams retired to Tucson after selling off a successful warehouse-supply business and took up politics as a hobby, helping out with various party functions and organizing a GOP cigar club. Zerull has been a party activist for many years, as well as a volunteer for the Boy Scouts of America.

Even though Republicans have a registration advantage in LD 26, there are no GOP incumbents in the race. One of the House members, Republican Pete Hershberger, is running in the district’s GOP Senate primary against Al Melvin. The other House member is a Democrat, Nancy Young Wright, who is seeking election to the seat after finishing up the term of Lena Saradnik, who stepped down after suffering a stroke.

The split representation makes Legislative District 26 one of Arizona’s rare swing districts. That means Democrats hope to hang on to the seat they have and win the second seat in November as part of their effort to flip at least four seats statewide and gain a majority in the 60-member House of Representatives.

The three Republicans in the upcoming primary, on the other hand, want to see the GOP reclaim dominance in the district.

Humphries, who has been funded by $12,921 in Clean Elections funds, has embraced some innovative campaign strategies in the race. He’s hosted forums on key issues in the district, including health care and law enforcement. His emphasis on keeping the state out of Continue reading

ScrambleWatch Q&A: Republican Vic Williams on the Environment

Vic Williams is one of three Republicans running in the Legislative District 26 House of Representatives primary that voters will decide Sept. 2. We asked him some questions about environmental policy.

Do you support allowing some state trust land to be set aside for conservation without payment to the trust?

In general, I would work to protect the safety of our land trust to ensure it continues to fund public education.

Should the state set fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks sold in Arizona?

I believe our state standards should be inline with whatever federal mandates are already on the books.

Should the state require new schools to incorporate renewable energy features such as solar panels if it will increase construction costs?

I believe the state should only incorporate mandates if they have immediate payback to the infrastructure. Any addition to construction cost has to be done with a cost analysis to see if it has a long-term benefit. If it brings down the operational cost of the schools, then I would support it.

Should the state continue to provide tax credits for solar installation?

Yes, if it’s current policy then I see no reason to change at this time.

Should the state should enact environmental rules that are stricter than current federal regulations?

No it should not.

ScrambleWatch Q&A: Republican Vic Williams on Taxes

Republican candidate Vic Williams is one of three candidates in the Legislative District 26 House of Representatives GOP primary. 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 and I believe we need 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 do a few things…we need to cut spending, maybe not necessarily 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. I’m sure that we could consolidate them. 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.

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 plan to be speaking with the mayor of Oro Valley-he’s an expert on that. From what I hear about it, here are some of the issues I have with it…We tend to try and tax ourselves to prosperity in this state, over and over again. I see us doing it at the global, municipality, county-wide and state levels. I would prefer to see us look towards quality economic development and extending our free market and developing our base revenue to fund these types of projects, verses looking at taxing our existing base, which is what they’re doing. Also, before signing on to something like that, I’m very cautious about rail systems and the environmental impact on these services. I think these systems might be environmentally harmful beyond their good of producing transportation.

Debate Throwdown: Hershberger Vs. Melvin

Rep. Peter HershbergerGet a look at the two wings of the GOP fighting for the future when social conservative Al Melvin debates Country-Club Republican Pete Hershberger at tomorrow night’s Clean Elections Legislative District 26 forum. Hershberger, who is now representing LD26 in the House, wants to move to the upper chamber; Melvin, who knocked out incumbent Sen. Toni Hellon in the 2006 GOP primary, wants to represent the pure GOP platform in Phoenix.

The fun starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 2, at the Nanini Library, 7300 N. Shannon Road.

House candidates Trent Humphries, Marilyn Zerull and Vic Williams are also invited to join the forum.