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Posts Tagged ‘Tucson Town Hall’

7th March
written by madge

Dr. Likins President of SALC

SALC (Southern Arizona Leadership Council) is a group of CEO’s that came together 20+ years ago. Members pay upwards of $6000+ per year to be a part of an elite club. They get together to lament on the great work they are doing in the community and support the work of local government. Judge for yourself the results.

As of late SALC has taken on the Tucson Town Hall forum, which brought together various community and political leaders together to talk about our regions problems. They are running a pretty cool ‘Tucson Values Teachers – a support teachers campaign’ and working hard on literacy issues in our community. SALC and Tucson Town Hall sponsored an Urban Land Institute series on the coming Megalopolis. There was a time when SALC was a little more willing to push an agenda – HERE. See SALC members list HERE

SALC just put out a position paper asking the state legislators to tax our business properties to balance the state budget. Not your typical position for a group of business leaders.

Hey guys, Arizona’s budget took 100 years to get to $6 billion (2001) and five to grow another $4 billion. Between 2001 and 2006,  our state budget had ballooned to $10.3 billion. Budget growth far outpaced population increases at every level of government. What caused the huge increase in dollars to the state coffers you ask? Only one of the biggest housing booms in the United States history.

What does each level of Arizona government depend on as their economic piggy bank? Construction! Huge amounts of sales taxes, income taxes and assorted fees rolled into City, State and County government and they spent spent spent.

Time to pay the piper.  Private businesses are laying off and cutting to the bone to survive. Entire industries are virtually shutting down.  Why shouldn’t government be doing the same? You spent too much in the good times and now it’s time to trim back in the bad. My home values are back to 2004 levels, how about yours?

Don’t gimmick,  shift between funds, bond, sell our lottery revenues, put up speed cameras all over the place,  borrow or use accounting tricks. Cut back like we’ve had to do.

Certain areas are going to be hurt. Unfortunately things like university education, 21st Century Fund, Rio Nuevo, k-12, healthcare among others are going to suffer a little pain. It’s not going to be a fun time. We will emerge through this tough spot in a better position. It’s the cycle of life. Booms and busts have come and gone for generations.

The states, cities and counties that address the issues head on will emerge stronger and attract better and stronger industries. Better and stronger industries mean more money for government……you get the point. The first sentence of the SALC position statement should say it all……

From RumRomanismRebellion.com.    

While agreeing that Arizona’s tax policies deter business and the creation of jobs, the SALC Board of Directors believes that it is imprudent during the state’s financial crisis to permanently repeal the state equalization property tax. It is critically important to preserve the state’s infrastructure for the future, and SALC believes repealing the tax right now would do more harm than good. SALC believes that preserving the tax is only one part of a larger set of actions needed to ensure the state is prepared to be competitive in the future.

Hrm. They also call for the tax to be suspended later, which I don’t agree with, but, unlike our legislators, they seem to understand that cutting revenue when you are running out of money makes no sense. That’s what a business background will do: twist your brain around with practicalities.

Later in the release, they outline what they think state budget priorities should be:

1. Continue to the extent possible to provide basic services to ensure the health and well being of the most vulnerable among us.
2. Consider a combination of spending reductions, deferrals, debt financing, revenue enhancement and other short-term strategies to solve the budget shortfall.
3. Maintain to the extent possible investment spending in areas like education and economic development.
4. Investigate and pursue all non-state sources of assistance, such as federal stimulus spending and federal grants.
5. Base spending cuts on specific programmatic considerations.

Health? Education? Economic development? What sort of anti-American Socialism is this? Hank Amos, Jim Click, Bruce Ash, Steve Lynn, Don Pitt, Katie Dusenberry…trotskyites all!

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