By Terri Jo Neff |
Katie Hobbs has her reasons for refusing to debate Kari Lake face-to-face in the race for Arizona Governor. But by doing so Hobbs is limiting the opportunities for Arizonans to hear her explain her history of supporting higher taxes while a member of the state legislature.
Hobbs, a Democrat currently serving as Arizona Secretary of State, has spent the last few weeks touting her promise to not raise taxes if elected. In fact, she is even promising to reduce taxes for many Arizonans even though it is doubtful that Democrats will control the legislature.
So with Hobbs making herself scarce for public questioning, voters are left to scrutinize her legislative history. And what can be found there casts doubt on her tax cut mantra.
Hobbs served in the Arizona State Senate from 2013 to 2019 and was Senate Minority Leader during much of that time. She also served one term as a member of the Arizona House of Representatives prior to the Senate.
In January 2018, Hobbs co-sponsored Senate Bill 1316 along with progressive Democratic Senators Juan Mendez, Jamescita Peshlakai, and Martin Quezada to eliminate the light class motor vehicle classification from Arizona’s fuel tax statutes.
But more importantly, SB1316 proposed to double the state’s per gallon motor fuel tax from 18 cents to 36 cents. The bill, which would have been one of Arizona’s largest tax hikes in state history, was so unpopular it was never heard by a Senate committee.
SB1316 is not the only time in Hobbs’ legislative history that she supported tax increases. In 2017, she was a fervent proponent of a sales tax increase that would have cost taxpayers between $500 and $600 million a year.
Also in 2018, Hobbs voted to impose an additional annual tax due when registering a vehicle. The new tax, set at $32 per vehicle, was so unpopular it was repealed by the legislature.
And back in 2015, Hobbs opposed critical legislation which was introduced to protect Arizonans from the effect of inflation on personal income tax brackets. The bill was eventually signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey.
Hobbs’ legislative history on the subject of taxes is one reason organizations such as the Arizona Free Enterprise Club are encouraging voters to look at facts, not campaign speeches when it comes to Hobbs’ promise of tax cuts.
“Anyone who has followed Hobbs’ political career knows that this is just another outrageous lie,” AFEC posted Wednesday. “During her time in the state legislature, Katie Hobbs regularly opposed tax cuts for families while making it a habit to support multiple tax hikes….Hobbs has spent her political career trying to squeeze every possible dollar from your bank account.”