Prop 204, on the ballot again, could make tax permanent

November 01, 2012

Proposition 204 is on the Arizona ballot -- again. The one-cent sales tax voters approved in 2010 as a temporary measure could be extended permanently. The measure calls to keep the current sales tax and continue funding education. Here's an overview of Proposition 204.

NADINE ARROYO RODRIGUEZ: Proposition 204 is also known as the Quality Education and Jobs Act. When the proposition first passed in 2010, the sales tax increased to 6.6 percent from 5.6 percent. That expires next year. The revised proposition maintains that percentage rate and creates a permanent source of revenue for education. It’s expected to generate about $1 billion a year. Eighty percent of the money will go to Kindergarten, high school, and college and university programs. The remaining funds would be split between human services programs and infrastructure projects, like roads and bridges. E. J. Perkins is with the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at ASU. He says the measure also has mandates that prevent any future cuts to education, including one that sets the base for future funds.

E.J. PERKINS: Funding levels to K-12 schools and state universities cannot be reduced below the levels for fiscal year 2012 or 2013 which ever is greater.

ARROYO RODRIGUEZ: Opponents say the measure makes it difficult for lawmakers to balance the budget. Again, Morrison Institute’s E.J. Perkins.

PERKINS: What it will require the legislature to work around this particular chunk of money… decide how to apportion or how to assign other moneys. Should there be more? What does this do to current funding sources? There is a litany of legislative issues that lawmakers have to grapple with.

ARROYO RODRIGUEZ: Voters overwhelmingly approved the similar measure in 2010.

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