PROP 208 LAUNCHES TV AD CALLING POLITICIANS’ DECEPTION AS LEGISLATURE AIMS TO CUT SCHOOL FUNDS APPROVED BY VOTERS
Arizona politicians attempt to silence the public and undermine the will of the voters with bill SB 1783. A proposed tax loophole for the ultra-wealthy at the expense of funding created by Prop 208 – Invest in Ed.
(PHOENIX)– This week, Prop 208 – Invest in Ed began airing a new TV ad exposing the effort by Arizona legislators to cut hundreds of millions in revenue for schools created by Prop 208 – Invest in Ed, which was passed by voters in November. The TV ad also urges voters to stand with teachers, parents and urge their legislators to vote “NO” on SB 1783.
After a very emotional and partisan committee hearing, SB 1783 advanced and could head to the floor of the House of Representatives for a vote.
“If SB 1783 passes, Arizona teachers, students, and schools will lose over $377 million in funding. Meanwhile, 6,000 millionaires get a $35,000 per year tax break. That’s more than Arizona’s average starting teacher salary”
said Rebecca Gau, Executive Director of Stand for Children Arizona.
“Make no mistake. Despite the lies told by legislators who want to stop us, even the Joint Legislative Budget Committee analysis shows that this is a specific attack on Prop 208 – Invest in Ed, passed by 1.7 million voters in November. SB 1783 violates the Voter Protection Act and could lead to yet another expensive lawsuit for the state.”
According to a Joint Legislative Budget Committee report, the revenue cuts will only affect revenue created by Prop 208 – Invest in Ed, thus violating the Voter Protection Act.
“The Prop 208 – Invest in Ed ad alerts voters to the cynical, underhanded actions at the legislature and asks them to take action,” Gau continued. “Over the last few years, public opinion polls have shown that education is THE most important issue for voters. The legislature has clearly forgotten that. We want to make sure they remember.”
A new public opinion poll released this month by Stand for Children Arizona confirms that a majority of Arizonans want Prop 208 – Invest in Ed to be fully implemented and oppose SB 1783. The survey was conducted in March 2021 by Moore Information Group. Key findings from this poll include:
A majority of voters disapprove of Senate Bill 1783 – which would create an entirely new tax category allowing some wealthy individuals to avoid the voter-approved Prop 208 surcharge for education.
- Majorities of voters who are somewhat Conservative (52%) or Moderate (56%) are less likely to support Republican legislators who vote in favor of SB 1783.
- 59% oppose SB 1783 after hearing arguments both for and against the bill.
- 49% of voters surveyed answered that they would be less likely to vote for a State Representative who attempts to overturn Proposition 208
“The legislature is attempting to illegally undermine the 1.7 million Arizona voters who passed Prop 208 – Invest In Ed. The public voted for more education funding and expected the legislature to respect their constitutionally protected wishes,” said Rebecca Gau, Executive Director of Stand for Children Arizona.
A Joint Legislative Budget Committee analysis on SB 1783 shows that:
- 86% of the funds removed from Prop 208 – Invest in Ed will come from 6,192 tax-filers with net taxable income of over $1 million per year.
- These 6,192 Arizonans would receive an annual $34,600 tax break, which is higher than Arizona’s median income, and higher than many starting teachers’ salaries.
Even after the passage of Prop 208 – Invest in Ed voters want even more funding to go to the classroom. December’s Annual Survey Results from Stand for Children found that more than seven in ten Arizonans still believe there is a need for additional funding for public schools.
- Efforts to cut taxes in other areas to offset the income tax surcharges imposed by Prop 208 find little support – 40% support, 39% oppose; Opposition increases significantly when voters are informed that funding for education could also be reduced (58% opposed).
- A possible effort to repeal Prop 208 – Invest in Ed meets with plurality opposition today, whether through the courts or legislative action.