Kingman chamber takes positions on Arizona ballot propositions

The Kingman Chamber of Commerce is opposing a proposition that would continue the one-cent sales tax.

The chamber recently released its stance on the nine propositions on November's ballot, but it didn't offer an explanation for each recommendation.

Proposition 204 would continue the one-cent sales tax that was approved by voters in 2010. The money would go toward education and infrastructure.

"First, we do want it known that we are not against education," Chamber CEO Pam Wilkinson stated in an email to the Miner. "We took an opposing position on this proposition because the way that it is written, the funding is certain, meaning if the target dollar amount is not met, then money can be taken from other funds to balance the shortfall, thus tying the hands of our legislators. And, the one-cent sales tax is permanent, making Arizona's the second highest tax in our nation."

The chamber also opposed propositions 121 and 115.

Proposition 121 would require primary ballots to carry the names of all of the candidates running for office, regardless of party. The two candidates who get the most votes would continue on to the general election.

Wilkinson said the chamber opposed the proposition "due to the fact that everyone is already allowed to vote in the primaries and the possible additional costs (if the state switched)."

Proposition 115 would change how judges are appointed to the superior and state appellate courts.

"The Chamber consulted with an attorney and chose a position of opposition because we did not see the need to extend the term to eight years or the retirement age from 70 to 75," Wilkinson said.

The chamber supports proposition 114, which would prevent someone charged with a felony from suing their victim for damages or injuries that happened during the crime.

Wilkinson said the chamber decided to support the proposition after speaking with Kingman Police Chief Robert DeVries.

The chamber also supported propositions 116, 117, 118 and 119.

The chamber decided to support the two propositions because Proposition 116 would encourage job growth by reducing taxes on business equipment and Proposition 117 would limit the annual growth in assessed property values to no more than 5 percent.

Propositions 118 and 119 deal with state lands. Proposition 118 changes how money from the sale of state lands would be distributed to schools. The chamber supported it because "it does not change the amount of funding but changes the formula to make funding more consistent," Wilkinson said.

Proposition 119 allows the state to swap state land for federal land in order to protect a military base from housing developments.

The chamber remained neutral on Proposition 120. The proposition would declare that the state has sovereignty over all land within its borders including all federal land, except military bases and Indian reservations.

Wilkinson said the chamber needed more information on how the proposition would affect the state budget before it could make a recommendation.