PHOENIX- The initiative to ban sales tax on services in Arizona is another example of big business trying to write the rules of the game. They’re good at it, too. They’ve dressed this initiative up to look like they’re doing us a favor, but that’s ridiculous. No one has ever suggested taxing you when you take your dog to the vet or get your nails done. Don’t be fooled.
The fact is, this initiative is backed by the Arizona Realtors Association. This is an $8M organization with a CEO who makes $365,000 a year, and they can afford to push through a law that prevents them from being taxed. Meanwhile, the hard-working moms we serve in our workforce readiness programs at the YWCA, whose average income is less than $20,000 a year, pay taxes every time they buy tampons or diapers for their kids.
The rules should be written by the people we elect to write them, not by the richest kids on the block.
Just think about this: In order to pay our teachers enough to get them “up” to 47th or 48th in the nation for teacher pay, we need about $1B a year more in our state budget. You know how much we give away by not taxing financial services, which mainly benefit the wealthy? About $1B a year.
What’s so frustrating is that the Arizona Association of Realtors ought to know better. What do people look for when they’re buying a house? Good schools. Good roads and well-lit streets. Public safety. These are the kinds of things our tax dollars pay for. If the corporate interest behind this initiative gets their way, it will be harder than ever for our elected leaders to raise the funds to make sure Arizona is a great place to live, work, play and go to school.
Arizona’s tax code is a mess. It’s like a sweet little house that has been turned into a monstrosity by owners who have added onto it over the decades with no rhyme or reason. We need comprehensive tax reform and an overhaul of the system to make sure that our taxes are fair, equitable, adequate to meet the needs of our state, and meet the standard of basic common sense. What we don’t need is another law, paid for by big corporate interests, to tie our hands and continue to bleed our budget dry.
Kelly Fryer, 56-years old, is a Democratic candidate for governor of Arizona. She has been the CEO of YWCA Southern Arizona since 2013, an organization with a mission to end racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Fryer is running to create an Arizona for Everyone – and she means everyone.