Education Initiative kicked off the ballot


JOSE CARDENAS: WE WANT TO TAKE A PAUSE TO DISCUSS OTHER NEWS IN ARIZONA. EARLIER THIS WEEK, THE ARIZONA SUPREME COURT RULED TO KEEP AN EDUCATION FUNDING MEASURE OFF THE NOVEMBER BALLOT. THE COURT SAID INACCURATE WORDING ON PETITIONS CIRCULATED FOR SIGNATURES WAS THE REASON. YESTERDAY WE HEARD FROM THOSE UPSET AT THE COURT'S ACTION. TODAY WE HEAR FROM THOSE LEADING THE CHARGE TO GET IT OFF OF THE BALLOT. JOINING ME IS GARRICK TAYLOR. WHAT WAS THE POOR WORDING THAT THE COURT OBJECTED TO?

GARRICK TAYLOR: THANKS FOR HAVING ME. WHEN A PETITION IS CIRCULATED FOR SIGNATURES TO ARIZONA VOTERS TO BE SENT TO THE BALLOT. ATOP THE PETITION IS THE DESCRIPTION.

JOSE CARDENAS: THE 100-WORD SUMMARY.

GARRICK TAYLOR: THAT’S RIGHT, IN THIS CASE IT DID NOT JIBE WITH THE LANGUAGE OF THE INITIATIVE ITSELF. IT DIDN'T ADD UP TO THE POINT WHERE THE SUPREME COURT SAID THIS IS MISLEADING AND SHOULDN'T BE ON THE BALLOT.

JOSE CARDENAS: AND FOCUSED ON TWO ITEMS IN PARTICULAR.

GARRICK TAYLOR: THE PROPONENTS UNDERSTATED THE FULL SCOPE OF THE TAX INCREASE, DESCRIBED TAX INCREASE IN PERCENTAGE POINTS RATHER THAN ACTUAL PERCENTAGE INCREASE. WHAT THE PROPONENTS SOUGHT TO DO IS TAKE CURRENT 4.45% INCOME TAX RATE ALL THE WAY UP TO 9% FOR CERTAIN INCOME EARNERS. THAT'S A NEAR DOUBLING OF THE INCOME TAX. THAT'S NOT JUST A FEW POINTS. THE JUSTICES FOUND THAT WAS A PROBLEM, AND THIS ISSUE OF ROLLING BACK EXISTING TAX LAW THAT PROTECTED AGAINST INFLATIONARY TAX INCREASES SUCH THAT IF YOU'RE INCOME DOESN'T KEEP PACE WITH THE COST OF LIVING, NOT BUMPED INTO ANOTHER TAX BRACKET, THE PROPONENTS DID NOT DISCLOSE THAT IN DESCRIPTION EITHER.

JOSE CARDENAS: AND THE CONCERN WAS AS PROMOTED, THE STATEMENTS WERE THAT IT WOULD AFFECT PEOPLE WITH INCOMES OVER $250,000, BUT BECAUSE OF THE ELIMINATION OF INDEXING, IT ACTUALLY WOULD AFFECT A WHOLE LOT MORE ARIZONANS?

GARRICK TAYLOR: EXACTLY RIGHT. THIS IS AN ISSUE THAT CAME UP IN THE JOINT LEGISLATIVE BUDGET COMMITTEE, LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE ALL SAID WAIT A SECOND, THIS AFFECTS ALL TAXPAYERS, NOT JUST CERTAIN INCOME EARNERS AND THAT WASN'T DISCLOSED IN THE PETITION WE'RE DISCUSSING TONIGHT AND BECAME EXTREMELY PROBLEMATIC, IN FACT IT WAS ITS UNDOING.

JOSE CARDENAS: POLLING INDICATED THIS WAS A PRETTY POPULAR MEASURE AND PROBABLY WOULD HAVE PASSED. THINKING IS IT STILL GOING TO HAVE AN IMPACT ON THE ELECTIONS BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE UPSET, THE PROPONENTS, AND TAKE IT OUT ON THE POLITICIANS WHO THEY VIEW AS ANTI-EDUCATION?

GARRICK TAYLOR: IN THE SPIRIT OF THE CELEBRATION OF JOHN McCAIN'S LIFE, THE FIGHT ENJOYED IS A FIGHT NOT ENJOYED. WE WERE READY TO GO TO THE BALLOT IN NOVEMBER AND WOULD HAVE WON. ARIZONA IS NOT READY TO DOUBLE INCOME TAX. WE HAVE IN TERMS OF COMPETITIVE STANDING IN THE UNITED STATES, WE COME IN AT 38 WHEN YOU RANK FROM HIGHEST TO LOWEST TAX RATES. THIS WOULD HAVE ROCKETED US OVERNIGHT TO NUMBER 5 IN THE NATION. IT DOESN'T JUST AFFECT INDIVIDUAL INCOME EARNERS, IT AFFECTS SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS- THESE ARE INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE JOB CREATORS IN THE COMMUNITY… IT WOULD HAVE DRAMATICALLY DRAMATICALLY AFFECTED ARIZONA'S ECONOMY. ARIZONANS WOULD HAVE REJECTED THIS.

JOSE CARDENAS: THERE WOULD BE ATTEMPT TO DISCUSS ALTERNATIVES. RIGHT NOW THE THINKING IS THE BALL IS IN THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY'S COURT. YOU GOT THIS SOURCE OF FUNDING OFF THE BALLOT. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO MAKING SURE THERE IS A SECURE SOURCE OF FUNDING FOR EDUCATION IN ARIZONA WHICH IS MISERABLY FUNDED RIGHT NOW?

GARRICK TAYLOR: LET’S DO IT, LET’S TALK ABOUT A SECURE SOURCE OF FUNDING, BECAUSE THE PROPONENTS WEREN'T WILLING TO DO THAT… THEY WOULD HAVE MADE ARIZONA'S ECONOMY SUFFER TO THE POINT IT WOULD NOT HAVE DELIVERED THE RAISES TO TEACHER IT PROMISED. COMPLETELY DISMANTLED PROPOSITION 301, A MAJOR SOURCE OF FUNDING FOR ARIZONA'S TEACHERS. WHEN IT COMES TO WHAT THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY HAS DONE AND WILL DO, WE STOOD UP FOR PROPOSITION 123 WHICH INCREASED STATE DOLLARS FROM LAND TRUST INTO TEACHER PAY, AND 20 BY 2020, 20% PAY INCREASE BY SCHOOL YEAR 2020, WE ARE HAPPY TO COME TO THE TABLE AND TALK ABOUT WHAT WE CAN DO CONDITIONALLY, BUT ON THE FULL EDUCATION FROM EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION TO UNIVERSITIES, THOSE BOOK ENDS OF THE EDUCATIONAL SPECTRUM WERE COMPLETELY IGNORED BY THE PROPONENTS IN THIS CASE.

JOSE CARDENAS: WHAT ABOUT SPECIFIC FUNDING SOURCES? IS THERE A PLAN, FOR EXAMPLE, TO INCREASE PROPERTY TAXES? THE PROPONENTS SAID THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY AND OTHERS IN ARIZONA HAVE BENEFITTED FROM THESE CONSTANT CUTBACKS IN TAXES AND THEN EDUCATION IS SEPARATE BECAUSE OF THE CONSEQUENTIAL CUT IN FUNDING TO EDUCATION.

GARRICK TAYLOR: LET’S CORRECT THE CLAIMS OF PROPONENTS. WERE IT NOT FOR ROBUST ECONOMIC ACTIVITY WE'RE ENJOYING ARIZONA RIGHT NOW. INITIATIVES LIKE 20 BY 2020 WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE. BECAUSE OF INCREASED REVENUES GOING INTO STATE COFFERS THAT MAKE INITIATIVES LIKE THAT POSSIBLE. WE CAN CERTAINLY ASSESS A NUMBER OF POTENTIALITIES GOING FORWARD FOR TEACHER PAY. WHAT WE'RE NOT GOING TO SUPPORT HOWEVER IS A TAX ON PRODUCTIVITY. ANYTHING THAT IS GOING TO REVERSE ECONOMIC ACTIVITY IN THE STATE, DEPRESS IT, NOT SOMETHING WE CAN GET BEHIND, ULTIMATELY WILL NOT BE GOOD NEWS FOR SCHOOL FUNDING.

JOSE CARDENAS: THERE ARE ANY TAXES THAT THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY WOULD SUPPORT, THE CHAMBER WOULD SUPPORT AS A SUPPORT AS A SOUREC OF FUNDING FOR EDUCATION?

GARRICK TAYLOR: JOSE, WE SUPPORTED PROP 100, WE SUPPORTED BACK IN THE BURRY ADMINISTRATION TEMPORARY ONE CENT SALES TAX, WE SUPPOSTED JUST THIS PAST YEAR ATEMPORARY EXTENSION OF PROP 301- WHICH IS A 0.6% SALES TAX…WE ARE NOT ALLERGIC TO TAXES. WE WANT TO DO THIS IN A RIGHT WAY THAT ALIGNS WITH GOOD ECONOMIC POLICY AND GOOD EDUCATIONAL POLICY.

JOSE CARDENAS: IS THERE ANYTHING SPECIFIC THAT THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY IS GOING TO COME OUT WITH?

GARRICK TAYLOR: I EXPECT OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS, YOU WILL SEE A BROAD COALITION OF EDUCATIONAL STAKEHOLDERS, BUSINESS STAKEHOLDERS, AND ACROSS THE EDUCATIONAL CONTINUOM FROM EARLY CHILDHOOD TO HIGHER ED PUT FORWARD IDEAS. UNFORTUNATELY THE IDEAS PUT FORWARD BY A SMALL SECTOR OF THE EDUCATION COMMUNITY WERE UNPRODUCTIVE AND UNCONSTRUCTIVE AND SLOPPILY ASSEMBLED.

JOSE CARDENAS: WE HAVE TO RUN, PEOPLE WILL BE KEEPING AN EYE OUT. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US ON "ARIZONA HORIZON."
JOSE CARDENAS: TOMORROW, WE'LL CONTINUE OUR COVERAGE OF MEMORIALS TO SENATOR JOHN McCAIN WITH A SERVICE AT THE WASHINGTON NATIONAL CATHEDRAL WHERE PRESIDENT'S GEORGE W. BUSH AND BARACK OBAMA WILL GIVE EULOGIES AND WE'LL BE BACK TOMORROW AT 5:00 FOR A SPECIAL EDITION OF "ARIZONA HORIZON" FROM WASHINGTON AND FROM PHOENIX..

TED SIMONS: BEFORE WE GO, A STRIKING IMAGE JUST BEFORE TODAY'S CEREMONY AT THE U.S. CAPITOL. THE CLOUDS OPENED UP AND RAINED ON THE HONOR GUARD CARRYING JOHN McCAIN'S CASKET. ♪ ♪. ANNOUNCER: "ARIZONA HORIZON" IS MADE POSSIBLE WITH THE SUPPORT OF --

A measure to provide funding for education in Arizona was kicked off the ballot because of inaccurate wording on petitions circulated for signatures. We’ve heard from those upset it was kicked off the ballot. We hear from those who led the charge to do just that, such as Garrick Taylor of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

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Garrick Taylor of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry

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