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Phoenix, AZ –Gov. Jan Brewer (R) is set to pressure state legislators into approving a new 2010 budget that is destined to take large sums of money out of the pockets of Arizona families. Such proposed tax increases of upwards of $1 billion in unspecified hikes by the Governor come amid the latest economic outlook—one that is bleak at best for a state with a projected $3 billion deficit.
Akin to its neighboring state of California, Arizona has let government grow unchecked for too long. The Arizona economy saw strong growth in the first part of the decade, but as good as it was for the private sector, it was an absolute boom for the government. From 2004 to 2007 the state budget grew by a whopping average of 14.7 percent per year, dwarfing income growth in the state.
This explosion in the size of government was not sustainable, and the state government has grown too large for the state economy to support. Legislators need to do the hard work of setting priories in a budget to reflect the economy.
FreedomWorks opposes tax hikes to balance the Arizona budget, and calls for legislators to account for the rapid expansion in state government, the real source of Arizona’s budgetary woes. Unless the state government is adjusted to reflect economic realties, Arizona can count on budget crises year after year.
FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe observed:
“What have Arizonans gained from all this new government? Taxpayers will certainly notice tax hikes, but I wonder if they would notice a difference in their lives if the Arizona government shrank by ten percent.”
“Politicians enjoy spending other people’s money and distributing legislative goodies, so they do not like to cut spending. Setting priorities and a realistic budget really takes all the fun out of elected office. But it is time for Arizona legislators to turn off the taxpayer ATM. It is not right to call on Arizona families to pay higher taxes to compensate for politicians' failure to restrain themselves in the good times.”