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2-1 landslide is 'resounding wave' for Prop. 100
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2-1 landslide is 'resounding wave' for Prop. 100

Oro Valley mayoral race a near-tie

  • Children hold signs supporting the temporary one-cent sales tax increase, which will benefit education, on Monday.
    Yes on 100/FacebookChildren hold signs supporting the temporary one-cent sales tax increase, which will benefit education, on Monday.
  • seantoyer/Flickr

Proposition 100 was approved by a statewide landslide. With 99 percent of polls reporting, 64 percent favored the temporary three-year hike in the sales tax to fund education, health and public safety programs.

693,129 voted yes,while 388,750 said no in results released by the Arizona Secretary of State's office.

Proposition 100 will raise the state sales tax by one percent, to 6.6 percent, generating about $1 billion annually. Accounting for local sales tax, the rate charged in Tucson will rise from 8.1 to 9.1 percent.

"It's a resounding wave of support," said Ann-Eve Pedersen, board president for the Arizona Education Network, which pushed the measure. "The legislature is way out of step with what the people of Arizona want, which is well-funded public education, public universities and public safety."

"The people of Arizona did what the legislature was not willing to do" in raising taxes to fund education, Pedersen said. "Hopefully this legislature takes note and starts doing its job."

"That's what $2.2 million can buy you, a win in Arizona," said Farrell Quinlan, the Arizona state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, in reference to the well-funded campaign for the proposition. A poor phone connection precluded a lengthy interview with the Proposition 100 opponent.

The pro-100 campaign was supported by teachers' unions, firefighter and police unions, the Arizona Medical Association and  health insurers, and chambers of commerce and business groups across the state.

"In passing Proposition 100, Arizona voters choose to trust the promises made by the YES on 100 campaign that this temporary sales tax increase is sufficient to bridge our budget deficit for three years," Quinlan said in an emailed statement.

"Prop. 100 was sold to the public as the solution to holding the line on further tax increases and cuts to K-12 education and public safety," Quinlan wrote. "Arizona citizens and small businesses have been assured that Arizona's grand canyon of a deficit won't be balanced through expanding the sales tax to services and higher property and income taxes. Voters will be justified in feeling betrayed if these commitments are broken despite the persistence of Arizona's $2.2 billion structural deficit."

"To call the Prop. 100 campaign spending disparity a David vs. Goliath matchup is unfair to the 'no' side; at least David had a sling shot," wrote Quinlan.

Opponents of the penny on the dollar increase reportedly raised only $1,200 to fight the measure.

By the numbers

130,863 in Pima County favored the tax increase, while 72,214 voted no, with 95 percent reporting.

The proposition passed handily in both conservative Maricopa County and rural areas. Maricopa's results were 416,837 - 219,136 in favor, with 99 percent counted.

The statewide returns include numbers from all counties. The measure overwhelmingly passed in all counties except Mohave, where it fell short 12,481 - 14,631.

The vote count in Pima County lagged behind other counties at just 53 percent by midnight. At 11:30 p.m. - four and a half hours after the polls closed - 8 counties (Cochise, Graham, Greenlee, La Paz, Pinal, Santa Cruz, Yavapai and Yuma) reported 100 percent of their votes tallied. Maricopa had 99.5 percent counted. All other counties reported at least 83 percent counted at 11:30 p.m.

At midnight, all but Mohave and Pima reported 95 percent of more of their votes counted. Pima released a report at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday with 95 percent tabulated.

By 1 a.m., every county but Coconino (95.6 percent), Maricopa (99.8 percent) and Pima reported all of their votes counted.

Impact on race for governor

The measure's approval may buoy Gov. Jan Brewer as she fights for her seat in a tight primary race. The Republican campaigned for the proposition. Her GOP opponents - state Treasurer Dean Martin, Buz Mills and John Munger - were all foes of the temporary tax increase.

The Arizona Capitol Times reported that Brewer cheered the proposition's victory:

“Arizonans have spoken today. They told us they understood the depth of the financial crisis in Arizona. And they told us they understood doing the right thing almost always means doing the hard thing. And today, they did the hard thing,” a visibly emotional Brewer said at the Yes on 100 victory party in central Phoenix. “I never doubted that we had it in us.”

If Proposition 100 had not passed, it would have triggered $860 million in cuts, mostly to education. While the legislature did not pass the one-cent tax increase, it included $900 million in revenue from it in its budget for next fiscal year.

Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard is also running for the governor's post. Overnight, the Democrat put out a statement on Proposition 100's passage:

"I am glad Arizona voters decided to protect our schools, our universities and public safety. They clearly intended to support these specific purposes, not a massive corporate tax giveaway. Unfortunately, this proposition is a band-aid, not a cure for our budget problems," Goddard said in his statement. "Now comes the hard part: building an economic recovery for Arizona and a budget basked on long term solutions, not gimmicks and temporary fixes. That will not happen if the governor and legislature keep driving away tourist dollars, fail to support our schools, and continue the gridlock and political games."

Local voters may not be done having their say on sales tax rates. Tucson City Manager Mike Letcher has proposed that the city put an additional half-cent local sales tax on November's ballot.

Oro Valley

The Town of Oro Valley picked a mayor and filled two Town Council seats Tuesday.

Mike Zinkin led Satish Hiremath by a hair in the mayoral race, 6,776 to 6,724.

Lou Waters and Joe Hornat led in the council race, with 7,905 and 6,699 votes. Matthew Rabb trailed with 4,687.

Disclosure: Ann-Eve Pedersen also serves on the Board of Directors of Black Mountain Media Inc., which publishes TucsonSentinel.com.


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