Opinion

O’Connor: Arizona needs better legislators than these

Posted 5/10/22

Do we live in a two-party democracy or a one-party regime?

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Opinion

O’Connor: Arizona needs better legislators than these

Posted

Do we live in a two-party democracy or a one-party regime?

Follow the story of the new flat tax, where a packed and compliant Arizona State Supreme Court has silenced the voice of the people.

The flat tax will replace the tiered, multiple-rate tax system that charges higher tax rates on income over certain thresholds. The wealthy are asked to pay more because they have more. With a flat tax, everyone pays the same percentage of all income, so the wealthy save tens of thousands of dollars each year, and lower income Arizonans save less than $100.

The new law reduces the general fund by $2 billion. This fund, previously projected at $12.9 billion, is called the backbone of our state government. It supports more than 60 state agencies, with 90% going to education, health services, corrections, economic security, child safety, and public safety. All these budgets will now be reduced.

The flat tax, an exclusively Republican idea, passed through committees, the Senate, and the House without a single vote from Democrats. The governor signed it into law.

Arizonans of all political parties had 90 days to collect signatures that would temporarily stop the new law and put it on the 2022 ballot for voters to decide. Sufficient signatures were collected, and Proposition 307 was slated for the November ballot.

The people had spoken — but Ducey’s court has decided we do not have that right. The flat tax will be rammed down our throats. Social services will have to be cut, especially public education, which is already reeling from other neglect by the one-party state government.

Arizonans cannot afford to lose more social quality of life. We can vote to deliver Arizona from one-party authoritarian rule and stop the slide from democracy to autocracy.

We need a new state Legislature.

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