A lone Democratic state senator saved an important property tax bill today. Sen. Ken Cheuvront (District 15, Central Phoenix) joined 15 Republican senators in voting for House Bill 2220, which would prevent a $250 million property tax from being reinstated next year.
Two Republican senators-Sen. Carolyn Allen (District 8, Scottsdale and Fountain Hills) and Sen. Tom O'Halleran (District 1, Prescott and Yavapai County)-refused to vote to protect property taxpayers.
Here is the vote tally: http://www.americansforprosperity.org/includes/filemanager/files/az/hb2220senategoodbad.pdf
Regardless of your party affiliation, please send a note to Sen. Cheuvront (firstname.lastname@example.org) and thank him for having the courage to break with his party's majority and with the special interests who insist on increasing your property taxes, even during a recession.
Maybe Sen. Cheuvront can show some of those emails to Gov. Janet Napolitano while she is deciding whether or not to veto the bill...
(Cheuvront's comments in defense of his vote are pasted below.)
Americans for Prosperity
(Arizona Federation of Taxpayers)
Here is what Sen. Cheuvront said in the Senate on Monday to explain his vote:
"[Regarding] House Bill 2220, state equalization of property tax: I just want to tell members that I am supporting that bill and I will be voting Yes. No matter how people talk about this bill, if we do not put this forth it will be a tax increase on businesses, homeowners, and others. I have fought down here for many years on tax equity. I had a bill in the House and one in the Senate dealing with GPLETs [a special-interest property tax giveaway to certain businesses]. Unfortunately, my colleagues in the House voted it down, and [the No vote] was engineered specifically by many of the Democrats, which I'm very disappointed in.
"But in the last year, we have seen the valuations of our homes go down, but as a business owner, I have seen the valuation of my businesses go up. If this tax is reinstituted, it will be a huge shift on our small businesses, because our large businesses are pretty much exempt from paying property taxes, or pay significantly lower [taxes]. They're in enterprise zones. They're in GPLETs. They're in free trade zones. They're in many other areas.
"We need to ensure that our small businesses are taken care of and we don't see a tax shift or a tax increase that will put them out of business. Thank you."
NOTE: Thanks to Marilyn Zerull, State House of Representatives candidate from LD26 for providing this information.