Tucson ranks as the fifth poorest city in the nation yet Southern Arizona continues to re-elect the same old, same old! Despite the booming national economy, Tucson lags behind in employment and continues to manifest stagnate economic growth. Nothing hurts families in Southern Arizona more than a failed economy. Southern Arizona needs a business friendly economic climate to launch unparalleled economic growth. With one of the most enviable environments in the nation overflowing with mountains and wall to wall sunshine, businesses should be flocking to Southern Arizona in droves! After all, there is a good reason we live here! The current entrenched elected class seem not to care!
Despite Tucson’s fifth lowest economic status, taxes seem to abound. Recently, Tucsonans went to the ballot,not to vote for candidates, but to vote on tax increases. Proposition 201, 202 and 203 serve as an example that taxing our way to prosperity seems to be the only thing Southern Arizona has known in recent history. Current sales taxes are on par with New York City. Raising taxes is not the answer!
No one needs to look further than our roads than to begin wondering where the money is going. The recent teacher salary walkout is a key indicator that at the State level we are not focused on priorities. It required the Arizona Supreme Court to uphold the voter’s intent on Proposition 301. Otherwise the revenue would have been squandered. Our state’s largest districts like TUSD spend less than half of its total income on the classroom yet Pima County property taxes could rise as much as 10%. We need accountability and spending reform now! Without it, taxes will continue to rise with little to no value being delivered to hard working Arizonans. We need comprehensive tax reform to stop the never ending tax extensions without tangible benefit.
How did we get in this mess in the first place? Regardless of what metric you choose, our roads, schools or Southern Arizona economy, things haven’t changed much recently! These are not new observations but a continuum of what we have unfortunately gotten used to throughout the years. Only a new common sense approach – majoring in the things that matter, will change the status quo in Southern Arizona. National politics aside, it is the State Legislature that has a profound effect on how much of your money you actually keep and the quality of life you have in Southern Arizona.