Tax Revolt going strong again

KINGMAN – The Arizona Tax Revolt suffered a setback a few weeks ago, however, leader Marc Goldstone said he simply sees it as an opportunity to get the message out even stronger.

Goldstone said they were forced to start from square one after the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association reviewed the proposed referendum and found that the wording violated the single-subject rule for Arizona initiatives.

The Taxpayers Association was willing to donate $100,000 in matching funds for the efforts with the condition that they got to read the initiative first.

According to Goldstone, the Arizona Supreme Court has a very narrow interpretation of the single-subject rule and he therefore called back all of the many petitions circulating throughout the state to start over.

The first initiative set out to address tax rates and the assessed value of properties, which in turn, Goldstone said, make up the total tax collected.

The goal, he said, was to rollback assessed values that were current in 2003.

The initiative would also restrict tax assessments so they would not be raised by more than 2 percent each year.

The new initiative, Goldstone said, would limit the total tax collected.

He said it would cap property tax paid during the 2003 tax year unless improvements were made to the property.

He said that they felt the 2003 taxes minimized the effect on government services while at the same time it helps people most with the escalating property taxes.

The Arizona Tax Revolt referendum, if passed, would make a change to Article IX, Title 18 in the Arizona State Constitution, adding a section that would say “Notwithstanding anything in Article 9, Sections 18 and 19 to the contrary, for all tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2006, no owner of residential property shall be required to pay an ad valorem property tax for any year in an amount greater than the amount of the total tax levied appearing on the 2003 property tax statement or the first property tax statement issued following acquisition if later than 2003, as adjusted for property taxes attributable to improvements occurring in subsequent tax years, for the relevant parcel identified.”

Goldstone said that the initiative does a lot in just one sentence. He also said that bonds, which could help cover any costs lost by property tax, would not be able to be pushed on to the property owners. The individual jurisdictions would have to reallocate budgets to be able to repay the debts.

“The government is going to have to find a way to live on a budget, just like the rest of us,” Goldstone said.

Goldstone said that the last batch of new petitions were mailed out about a week ago and they seem to be going strong.

For more information about the Arizona Tax Revolt, visit their Web site www.arizonataxrevolt.com.