Supreme Court Ruling Against Pinal County Transportation Tax Is a Big Win for Taxpayers

Supreme Court Ruling Against Pinal County Transportation Tax Is a Big Win for Taxpayers

By the Arizona Free Enterprise Club |

We tried to warn them. But Pinal County officials decided to move forward with their illegal and unconstitutional transportation tax anyway. Thankfully, on Tuesday, the Arizona Supreme Court issued a tremendous victory for Pinal County taxpayers and the rule of law.

And while it’s disappointing that taxpayers were forced to pay thousands of dollars to defend this illegal tax scheme in court, the Pinal County Board of Supervisors will now have to end the collection of this tax and issue refunds to aggrieved taxpayers.

A tax on retail sales below $10,000

This all started in 2016 when Pinal County officials began turning the political wheels to send a $640 million tax increase to voters to fund a wide array of transportation projects throughout the region. 

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Arizona Lawmakers Want to Send Your Hard-Earned Tax Dollars to Woke Hollywood

Arizona Lawmakers Want to Send Your Hard-Earned Tax Dollars to Woke Hollywood

By the Arizona Free Enterprise Club |

Arizona lawmakers are currently living in “La La Land.” No, really. They want to dole out $150 million of your dollars to sign checks to woke Hollywood producers to literally California our Arizona.

SB1708, sponsored by Senator David Gowan, passed out of the Senate last week by a vote of 21-7. It provides a tax credit for a percentage of movie production costs: 15% for productions up to $10 million, 17.5% for productions between $10 and $35 million, 20% for productions over $35 million, and the opportunity for an extra 2.5% on top for positions held by Arizona residents, if the production is filmed in a qualified facility or primarily on location, or if it was produced in association with a long-term tenant in a qualified production facility.

The worst part—it’s refundable. This means that if Hollywood producers wipe out their tax liability to zero, the remaining tax credits come as a check from you, the taxpayer.

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The Arizonans for Voter ID Act Is on the November Ballot

The Arizonans for Voter ID Act Is on the November Ballot

By the Arizona Free Enterprise Club |

This week got off to a great start. On Monday, the Arizona House passed HB2492, a bill that would safeguard our voter rolls by ensuring that only qualified, U.S. citizens are registered to vote, able to vote in Presidential elections, and eligible to vote by mail.

But the good news didn’t stop there.

The House also passed SCR1012, known as the Arizonans for Voter ID Act. And with the Senate already passing this ballot referral late last week, that means the people of Arizona will now get to decide on universal voter ID in November.

This is an important step to ensure the integrity of our elections. “Easy to vote and hard to cheat” should be the benchmark for every election we have. And in Arizona, voters certainly have many ways to exercise their vote, including day-of-polls, early voting, and mail-in voting.

But the security of our elections has been a different story…

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The High Cost of Our Botched COVID Response

The High Cost of Our Botched COVID Response

By Dr. Thomas Patterson |

Let’s face it. America botched its response to the COVID pandemic.

Traditionally, as in the Spanish flu and polio pandemics, authorities have recommended common sense public health measures and protected the vulnerable. This time, they ordered sweeping lockdowns of the economy and closed schools, churches, and businesses.

The results were economic devastation, educational stagnation, greater income inequality, and loss of civic life.

Sweden, even though it has a reputation for a more collectivist mindset than our “land of the free” got it right. Their health officials adopted a live-and-let-live strategy, mostly rejecting lockdowns and letting normal life go on.

Initially, health outcomes suffered some, partly because Swedes neglected to adequately protect their nursing homes. But today, probably because of herd immunity, Sweden’s death rate is just over 1614 per million, compared to 2335 in Britain and 2836 in the US.

Even better, Sweden avoided the multiple consequences Americans now face. GDP growth is projected to be 5% larger than pre-pandemic, and they don’t face a mountain of future debt. Since schools stayed open without face masks, there were no lost years of education and test scores are up.

Unfortunately, America’s response to the self-inflicted wounds caused by our COVID panic caused yet more harm. When confronted with the results of their mismanagement, America’s governing leftists reverted to their universal solution for all ills: spend more money.

So last March, President Biden triumphantly announced “help is here” as he signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. We were assured that the truly massive spending would help defeat the pandemic, reopen schools, and revitalize the economy, creating at least 4 million additional jobs.

We now know the bill was a colossal failure. We didn’t get more jobs, but we did get ominous inflation even though Biden had insisted that “no serious economist” predicted inflation as a result of the spending surge.

The inflation was totally predictable. At least 1.8 million people declined to reenter the workforce when the $300 per week unemployment benefit supplement was extended. That’s understandable since one study indicated that in 19 states, a family of four with two “unemployed” adults could receive $100,000 in total government benefits.

Meanwhile, trillions more were pumped into the economy. This excess demand, combined with fewer goods and services being produced, was the perfect recipe for inflation, which “serious economists” now acknowledge is probably here to stay.

Why did the plan have no effect on COVID? Answer: it didn’t really try. PolitiFact concluded only 10% of the bill addressed COVID health impacts and 1% went to advancing vaccines, the most effective way to impact serious disease.

Instead, the ever-vigilant spenders saw their chance to enact a wish list and took it. Their dreams that came true included $20 million for “preservation of Native American languages,” raising Obamacare subsidies, and a massive expansion of the child tax credit.

Since the feds are sitting on so much surplus funding (sarcasm alert), $350 billion went to state and local governments to help them weather the pandemic. But even when the bill was being considered, it was already clear that state-local tax revenues were growing, and their budget crisis never materialized. It was simply an excuse for feds to shovel out money, mostly to their friends in Democrat states.

Public schools were also showered with $120 billion to help them reopen safely. But the funds came with no requirements attached. By the end of FYI 2022, only $40 billion will have been spent, leaving education administrators with an $80 billion slush fund. Thanks, COVID.

So, another $1.9 trillion accumulates onto our debt load, and we have precious little to show for it. We have fewer jobs than were predicted in the “baseline” without the bill, and there was minimal or no effect on the course of the pandemic.

Lesson learned? Nah. Biden preposterously proposes spending yet more on Build Back Better, an even larger collection of handouts, as an inflation cure. Yet our debt is not only higher than ever ($30 trillion) but rising interest rates now will make our debt service more expensive and hasten the Day of Reckoning.

When will they ever learn?

It’s Time to Put Critical Race Theory in Arizona’s K-12 Schools up for a Vote

It’s Time to Put Critical Race Theory in Arizona’s K-12 Schools up for a Vote

By the Arizona Free Enterprise Club |

Perhaps no issue has taken our nation by storm during the past year quite like Critical Race Theory (CRT). This cleverly disguised Marxist indoctrination uses words that sound harmless enough like “diversity,” “equity,” and “inclusion.” But floods of parents caught on early last year. And many made it their mission to stop CRT’s invasion of school districts across the nation.

Some people even believe it may have been the central issue that swung Virgina’s gubernatorial election to Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin. But right here in Arizona, the battle is not over.

As you may recall, Arizona lawmakers and Governor Ducey took important steps to prevent children from being indoctrinated in public schools by CRT through a budget reconciliation bill this past July. But in November, the Arizona Supreme Court struck down that ban, ruling that it was integrated in a bill that was a violation of the single subject requirement of the state constitution.

With the Arizona legislature back in session for the past two months, Republicans have made CRT a top priority. Earlier this month, the House already took an important step forward…

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The Left Is Trying to Take Over Arizona’s Election Process by Bringing HR1 to the States

The Left Is Trying to Take Over Arizona’s Election Process by Bringing HR1 to the States

By the Arizona Free Enterprise Club |

The Left is determined to shove their so-called “election reforms” down the throats of the American people. After gaining control of Congress, the US House passed House Resolution 1 (HR1) in March of last year.

But their federal takeover of elections has been held up in the U.S. Senate for months, so they have moved to ‘Plan B’—taking over the election process in Arizona.

Earlier this month, a group called the Arizonans for Free and Fair Elections—which is nothing more than a consortium of liberal groups here in Arizona—dropped a ballot initiative that might as well be a leftist wish list of election law changes. But while they’ll tell you that this measure is about “expanding voting rights,” make no mistake. Just like with HR1, this ballot measure is about eliminating all meaningful safeguards in our voting process.

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