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Tlaquepaque Village

Educators around the state exhaled a giant sigh of relief when the numbers came in from the special election Tuesday, May 18.

Voters passed a 1-cent sales tax increase for three years with what some called “overwhelming” approval. The results made teachers and school administrators happy because approximately two-thirds of additional tax revenue collected goes to fund Arizona education, at least for the first year.

Another portion goes to public safety. If the proposition didn’t pass, the state threatened to return state prisoners to county jails, financially burdening them.

To the Sedona-Oak Creek School District, the tax hike means it won’t have to hand out any more reduction in force notices for the next school year or cut programs further than it already has in an attempt to balance its decreased budget.

The state pleaded with voters to pass a tax to replenish the school fund the state single-handedly “borrowed” from, leaving the quality of our children’s future educations in question.

Now that voters gave the state what it asked for despite the state’s irresponsible spending habits and lack of conscience while stealing from our children, it’s time for the state to give its residents what we want.

We want the tax increase to actually only be for three years, as promised when voters approved it. Between now and 2013, find a way to fund education and public safety that doesn’t raise sales tax to 10 percent in some areas of the state.

We want the state to actually use the money to fund education and public safety. Don’t come back a year from now and tell residents tax revenue percentages for either of these areas will decrease and the state will take the rest of the money to spend as it pleases, which Arizona has done in the past.

Voters gave the state the money it asked for, and it’s now up to the state to use it the way it promised voters it would. It’s time for state legislators to be held accountable.


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