Category Archives: Ballot Propositions
Arizonans believe in a strong marriage culture. That’s why we protect it in our law and our state Constitution.
But now radical leftists want to destroy the institutions of marriage and family. They want to redefine it so it means essentially nothing. The people have already spoken on this issue. In 2008 we enacted a state constitutional marriage amendment to protect our state from activist judges beholden to radical special interest groups.
Don’t be fooled by a new effort to harm our marriage culture. Typical of the Left and its Democrat partisans, a group is using a seemingly harmless name in an effort to legalize marriage for Arizona homosexuals – who make up one percent of the state’s population. They’re calling themselves “Why Marriage Matters.” Their phrase is correct, but their intentions will have disastrous unintended consequences.
There is no groundswell for the change they are demanding. The children of Arizona are not crying out to be fatherless or motherless. Every boy and girl deserves both, and needs both, a father and a mother. But Why Marriage Matters would deny children of one of their biological parents.
In states with same-sex “marriage,” religious freedom is disappearing. It’s actually disappearing in states like New Mexico, where same-sex “marriage” is not legal, as well.
Furthermore, redefining marriage is not the end game for homosexual activists. Their real goal is to overthrow the concepts of marriage and family entirely. This would have dire ramifications for America … for Arizona. It will also lead to polygamy; in fact a Utah judge just struck down a state law banning polygamy.
Sadly, those who think they will benefit from same-sex “marriage” will not realize that vision. People in same-sex relationships suffer from much higher rates of domestic abuse than married heterosexual relationships. Rates of domestic abuse among female homosexuals are even higher than among male homosexuals. Their life spans are shorter, they are more likely to engage in drug and alcohol abuse. And the lack of infidelity among homosexuals leads to rampant anonymous sex and the accompanying health-threatening diseases.
The children of same-sex parents do more poorly in school, suffer more emotional problems, are at a greater risk of sexual abuse, and are less likely to marry someone of the opposite gender. As two of the leading homosexual activists in America confessed, homosexuality is a dismal existence:
Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen Ph.D., authors of “After the Ball: How America will Conquer its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90′s”(1989), conclude the male homosexual lifestyle “is the pits.”
Furthermore, it is important to recognize the common spin lines used by homosexual activists:
“I was born this way.”
Truth: Biomolecular scientists concluded 20 years ago that homosexuality is not genetic. No one is born that way.
Jesus never said anything about homosexuality.
Truth: Jesus and God are one and the same, the Bible is the inspired Word of the Triune God. Jesus says homosexuality is a sin.*
“How does my same-sex relationship affect your marriage?”
Truth: I did not consent to sign my marriage license as Party A. My wife did not consent to sign our marriage license as Party B. I do not want my children and grandchildren to grow up believing their gender is meaningless. Homosexuality has a detrimental impact on communities, the work place (more absenteeism due to health problems and drug and alcohol abuse), and the people jumping in and out of same-sex relationships. Already people have lost their jobs simply for supporting marriage as a one-man/one-woman marriage. People have lost the right to live by their own religious beliefs – without being punished, fined, or fired from their jobs. The First Amendment to the Constitution is being supplanted by homosexual activists and activist judges. Marriage supporters have received death threats and had their homes, belongings, and churches vandalized.
Left-wingers such as Grant Woods are backing this group. So is a Lutheran pastor, who mistakenly claims that scripture supports same-sex “marriage.” He could not be more wrong.
This is your wake-up call, Arizona. If these leftists succeed in qualifying their proposition for the November 2014 ballot, you will have to go to your polling place and vote it down. Let’s not allow our state to become another Massachusetts or Iowa, where radical special interests pressured for and got same-sex “marriage.”
Protect our marriage culture now. Tell your family and friends about this threat. Gain their assurance of protecting marriage – the union of one man and one woman – in Arizona.
The best thing for homosexuals, many of whom have undergone conversion therapy, is to not allow homosexual pressure groups to deceive them into following the false narrative that they were “born that way,” if lawmakers and judges fabricate special rights for them, and if they donate lots of money to them, they will be happy.
*We have all fallen short of the glory of God. We are all sinners, though the left-stream media is glorifying homosexuals as a “special class.”
As we celebrate 10 years of The Arizona Conservative, here’s one of the more memorable reports on appalling and outrageous behavior by the left-stream media:
I Have No Dog in the Fight’ and other Arizona Media Myths
July 6, 2006
No one in the Arizona media better epitomizes liberal bias than Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services. It is unclear whether Fischer obtained his journalism degree from a box of Crackerjax or from the “Acme School of Pseudo-Journalism.”
What was apparent once again today were his bias and unquestioned disdain for all things conservative relating to respect for life/marriage/family. The boorish Fischer behaved atrociously, not to mention unprofessionally, in the events surrounding Protect Marriage Arizona’s submission of ballot initiative signatures at the Secretary of State’s Office in Phoenix.
Fischer is an agenda-driven “journalist” who has made a disreputable career of starting off his so-called “straight news stories” by ripping conservative ideas and legislative bills. Today, he teed off on an initiative designed to prevent judicial activists from circumventing the democratic process and changing the definition of marriage to include homosexual and polygamous “marriages.”
As members of the Protect Marriage Arizona coalition waited for colleagues to arrive at the state capital with the signatures of 307,576 eligible voters who want to protect current marriage laws with an amendment to the state constitution, Fischer could barely contain himself. He asked gleefully if the petitions had been lost or possibly delivered to the wrong location.
A person knowing of Fischer’s biases responded, “You wish …” To which, Fischer said, “I have no dog in the fight,” and then he walked away.
Minutes later, the coalition forces had transported several boxes of petitions up seven floors to Secretary of State Jan Brewer’s office, as a large media entourage watched. The boxes had barely been placed on the office floor when Fischer, salivating for the taste of conservative flesh, led the charge. Leo Gozdich, president of The National Association of Marriage Enhancement, answered a media question, and then Fischer and the media “pack dogs” surrounded him and verbally tore into him. Gozdich explained the benefits and value of marriage to society, all of which was lost on the intellectually challenged, emotionally-driven media.
Fischer was front and center harassing Gozdich. “Why do you not want civil unions,” Fischer angrily asked Gozdich.
Gozdich said, “We are protecting traditional marriage.”
“Who’s tradition!” shouted an alleged “reporter,” obviously emboldened by the alpha “reporter’s” aggression.
As the rancor grew between the attack dogs and Gozdich, Nathan Sproul cut in. “The story today,” said the campaign consultant for PMA, “is that we have submitted over 300,000 signatures. This speaks to the grassroots movement to protect marriage in Arizona.”
When Bob McClay, reporter for KTAR Radio (Phoenix) asked Sproul his name, Fischer bared his “fangs” and shot in, “He’s paid.” As if Sproul would not want to protect marriage if not paid for his services.
“Our singular intent is to preserve marriage,” Sproul said, unfazed. Sproul said the idea behind Protect Marriage Arizona is to put the issue of heterosexual marriage on the election ballot and let the people decide.
“Isn’t that pretty elitist?” Fischer asked snottily.
“It used to be that blacks and whites couldn’t marry either.”
Gozdich, himself a former Columbia University journalism student, had seen enough. “We live in a democracy … you’re engaging in debate, not in journalism,” he told an over-the-edge Fischer.
Another alleged “reporter” – not wearing any badge and who could have been a homosexual activist posing as a reporter – wedged his way to the front and fired another hard-edged and loaded question across the bow of the PMA leaders. Sproul calmly said, “We are 100 percent confident we will be able to defend the legal challenge in Superior Court and in the Arizona Supreme Court.” Sproul, too, had had enough by now and he declared the press conference over.
He and the coalition members then departed via the elevator.
“Why are you cutting off the press conference?” shouted Fischer, anxious for more verbal sparring.
On his way to the elevator, Gozdich said that the New York Supreme Court had just yesterday delivered a ruling in defense of traditional marriage. Not that any of this would matter to intellectually starved media reps in attendance plying leftist theology.
Fischer continued ranting and raving as the ravenous pack waited for its own elevator. “They should answer our questions! They cut off the press conference!” The media “groupthink swarm” then moved as one unit into the elevator and headed down to the first floor. Fischer, spoiling for a fight, rambled on barely coherent: “Sproul’s been investigated before. In Nevada, he was destroying Democrat registrations … they cut off the press conference … I love Nathan saying ‘we’re off the record here’ …. And Nathan saying ‘we weren’t prepared for a press conference.’”
Another “reporter” in the elevator — Dennis Welch of the East Valley Tribune, said, “we’re the media scum.” The temptation is strong to make a statement about truth in advertising, but no additional comment will be added here.
At last, the elevator reaches the ground floor, the door opens and “alpha dog” Fischer lunges out looking for and finding a likely victim — Secretary of State Jan Brewer, waiting for an upward bound elevator. “Have you ever had a relationship with a homosexual,” Fischer asked. Brewer laughed him off and walked on. I
t was obvious that the homosexual activists who oppose PMA did not need to be there today. The media did their dirty work for them.
The one bright spot of the morning came minutes later in the Wesley Bolin Plaza parking lot, where McClay conducted a fair, civil, and unbiased one-on-one interview with Gozdich.
Imagine that, a real interview conducted with professional deportment, rather than a debate from a reporter. There is hope for the Arizona media after all.
Only one short week after Scottsdale Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane announced that he would be forming a statewide coalition of mayors and councilmembers in opposition to Proposition 204, 34 leaders from across Arizona have already signed on to support the “No on New Taxes, No on 204″ effort. Coalition Members as of 10/18/2012 include:
Mayors & Vice Mayors
Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane – Scottsdale
Mayor Jay Tibshraeny – Chandler
Mayor Linda Kavanagh – Fountain Hills
Mayor Scott Lamar – Paradise Valley
Mayor Kenny Evans – Payson
Marlin Kuykendall – Prescott
Mayor David Schwan – Carefree
Mayor John Salem – Kingman
Mayor Lana Mook – El Mirage
Mayor Thomas Schoaf – Litchfield Park
Mayor Mark Nexsen – Lake Havasu City
Mayor Mike LeVault – Youngtown
Mayor Gail Barney – Queen Creek
Vice Mayor Ernie Bunch – Queen Creek
Vice Mayor Michael Hughes – Payson
Former Mayor Hugh Hallman – Tempe
Councilman Ron McCullagh – Scottsdale
Councilman Jim Waring – Phoenix
Councilman Bill Gates – Phoenix
Councilman Cody Beeson – Yuma
Councilman Don Callahan – Lake Havasu City
Councilman Jim Buster – Avondale
Councilman Sam Medrano – Bullhead City
Councilwoman Vallarie Woolridge – Florence
Councilman Victor Peterson – Gilbert
Councilman Eddie Cook – Gilbert
Councilman Jordan Ray – Gilbert
Councilman Bridger Kimball – Maricopa
Councilman Joe Hornat – Oro Valley
Councilman Scott Stewart – Wickenburg
Councilman Sam Crissman – Wickenburg
Councilwoman Cassie Hansen – Fountain Hills
Councilman Jim Brown – Queen Creek
Councilman Dean Barlow – Lake Havasu City
Councilman Bill Bracco – Sahuarita
“Municipal leaders from all across Arizona, from all backgrounds, are joining together to declare in one voice that Proposition 204 is bad for Arizona,” said Mayor Lane. “This overwhelming opposition from our elected leaders is a testament to just how poorly thought-out Prop. 204 really is. Not only could Prop. 204 destroy job growth by causing Arizona to have the second highest sales tax in the nation, it would also rob our cities and towns of state shared revenues which could force them to either raise taxes, or cut services. And when it is all said and done, there is still no guarantee that any of the dollars from this $1 billion permanent tax increase will ever reach the classroom.”
Few leaders have a more enduring track record of supporting education than Mayor Kenny Evans of Payson. “As a former High School teacher, Community College Instructor, School Board President, and education advocate and supporter of education and technology, I am saddened by this poorly drafted ballot proposition,” said Mayor Evans. “I cannot support this ill-conceived and poorly worded permanent tax grab.”
These 34 mayors and councilmembers add to a growing list of elected officials including Gov. Jan Brewer, U.S. Congressman David Schweikert, Senate President Steve Pierce, Speaker of the House Andy Tobin and many others who have already joined State Treasurer Doug Ducey in his effort to defeat this permanent tax increase.
“In only one week, Mayor Lane’s coalition has garnered a powerful and influential list of civic leaders in opposition to Prop 204 ,” said Doug Ducey, State Treasurer and Chairman of the No New Taxes, No on 204committee. “This coalition reinforces our concerns that Prop 204 is bad for local municipalities, and is especially bad for Arizona taxpayers. Passing a $1 billion blank check for special interest giveaways with almost no accountability standards and no real education reform does nothing to help Arizona’s teachers or its students.”
If passed, Prop 204 will result in Arizona having the 2nd highest sales tax in America, only behind Tennessee, a state with no income tax. This is only one of the many reasons why the State League of Arizona Cities and Towns opposes Prop. 204. The lack of accountability and the heavy input from special interest groups make Prop 204 wildly unpredictable. Prop 204 also earmarks hundreds of millions of tax payer dollars for programs and special interest groups that have nothing to do with public education.
ANALYSIS BY LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
In 1910, the United States Congress passed the Arizona-New Mexico Enabling Act, allowing Arizona to become a state. The Enabling Act also granted Arizona approximately 10.9 million acres of state trust land, subject to certain terms for the management, operation, use and disposition of those trust lands. Proposition 120 would amend the Arizona Constitution to declare Arizona’s sovereign and exclusive authority and jurisdiction over the air, water, public lands, minerals, wildlife and other natural resources within the state’s boundaries. Specifically excluded from this declaration are Indian reservations, lands of the United States and federal “forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful buildings” obtained for federal government purposes, as required by Article I, section 8, clause 17 of the United States Constitution. Proposition 120 also would amend the Arizona Constitution to repeal Arizona’s disclaimer of all right and title to public lands within the state (except Indian reservations) and to repeal Arizona’s consent to provisions of the Enabling Act. Proposition 120 would declare that each state possesses full attributes of sovereignty on an equal footing with all other states, as provided by the United States Constitution, and that state sovereignty is fundamental to the security of individual rights, free government and the inherent political power of the people.
ARGUMENTS “FOR” PROPOSITION 120
(I support Proposition 120. When the western territories became states, the federal government violated the enabling acts that incorporated them and retained land within each of the western states in violation of federal law. Federal retention of that land hurts the economy of the western states and leaves them struggling to adequately fund public education, nurture their economies, and manage their forests and natural resources. Simply put, federal control and interference in state affairs inhibits Arizona’s ability to provide for the welfare, health and safety of our people. The EPA threatens to close coal-generating power plants with excessive regulations. Closing these plants will result in higher utility costs for everyone. We can’t build a bridge or perform needed flood control activities because of interference from numerous federal agencies. We experience catastrophic forest fires, loss of wildlife habitat, threats to community watersheds, and loss of jobs, all of which affect the economy everywhere in the state. When the federal government mismanages our forestlands, the state cannot intervene. Roads are being closed and citizens denied access across federal lands. It takes years to obtain mining permits from the federal government, and some areas are closed to mining all together. As a result, Arizona loses billions of dollars that could be used to fund education and address other budget concerns. Meanwhile, our abundant natural resources remain under the control of unelected federal bureaucrats. Arizona is a sovereign state, and we have a right to control the air, water, public lands, minerals, wildlife, and other natural resources within our boundaries. Passing Prop 120 would be a small but important step in asserting our state rights and a rejection of the archaic colonial control by the federal government. I SUPPORT PROP 120 .)
Sylvia Allen, State Senator, Arizona State Senate, Candidate for Navajo County Board of Supervisors, District 3, Snowflake
Proposition 120/ HCR 2004 “…and they [Congress] may so exercise this power as entirely to annihilate all the state governments, and reduce this country to one single government. And if they may do it, it is pretty certain they will; for it will be found that the power retained by individual states, small as it is, will be a clog upon the wheels of the government of the United States; the latter therefore will be naturally inclined to remove it out of the way.” This “conspiracy theory” is not from talk radio. It was written, presumably by Robert Yates in October of 1787 as part of an effort to convince Americans that this newly written document could be abused. The Constitution of the United States allows for certain properties for the federal government. (1) To establish Post Offices and post roads (I, §8, Clause 7), (2) the Seat of Government (3) and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature (4) for the Erection of Forts, (5) Magazines, (6) Arsenals, (7) dock-Yards, and (8) other needful Buildings (i.e. Court buildings). Article IV, § 3, Clause 2 and the Fifth Amendment referring to “public purposes” apply ONLY to those ends. The Fifth Amendment was never meant for States, counties or cities to steal private land from one for the private benefit of another. Congress has NO authority to establish a National Forest Service or National Park Service and all land inside Arizona belongs to the citizens of Arizona. While I urge people to take back our land and vote YES on this proposition, I also urge that citizens recoil from the selling of the forests and lands around our Grand Canyon State Park and other parks to private interest.
Glen C. Davis, Williams
Farm Bureau Supports a “Yes” Vote on Proposition 120 Arizona Farm Bureau supports Proposition 120. Farmers and ranchers understand both stewardship and productivity of the land and our natural resources. In the last ten years, we have had devastating forest fires, followed by damaging floods. The machinery of federal bureaucracy slows and in some cases stops recovery and re-use. Our members, along with many others have become frustrated and inflamed over the federal mis-management of our public lands. Proposition 120 draws a line and throws an anchor out to exhibit we are at wits end. It begins with our forests and federal stewardship and runs to how the government functions as a landlord. Certainly, Proposition 120 requires further action by Congress, but so does any other measure necessary for course correction. We hope this message ignites and sustains a dialogue to lead to meaningful reform in federal policies and programs.
Kevin G. Rogers, President, Arizona Farm Bureau Federation, Gilbert
James W. Klinker, Chief Administrative Officer, Arizona Farm Bureau Federation, Gilbert
Freedom requires being sovereign. Our federal Constitution established two systems for separation of powers to preserve our liberty. Unfortunately only the separation of the three branches of government is reported. Equally important is the separation of powers between federal government and sovereign states. States gave limited authority for the federal government under our Constitution. All powers not specifically granted to the federal government are reserved for the states and the people . Prop 120 is an Arizona constitutional amendment to re-establish this necessary constitutional separation/balance of power to protect our liberty and civil rights. It declares our public lands and natural resources, are under our sovereign control, as provided in the NW Ordinance of 1787 and SW Ordinance of 1790 for the admission of states, excluding Indian lands and lands under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. Over the last century, the separation between federal and state powers has been eviscerated. Without Senate accountability to our legislatures we are the recipients of unfunded federal mandates and restrictions which take our civil constitutionally guaranteed rights under the guise of giving us a faux benefit we can’t pay for. This abuse is demonstrated by; the denial of century old water rights for Tombstone; denial for Arizona to manage Arizona forest lands resulting in devastating fires; denial of Arizonans to commercially and environmentally regulate our own natural resources; and denial to protect our citizens at the border . In 2009 we caught 29,000 illegals from terrorist designated countries ! What better stewards are there of our land and safety, than the citizens that live with their decisions? When the Feds screw up – they have no consequences – but we do! The feds propose “anti-bully” rules for our schools but what we need is an anti-federal bully rule. We the people Vote for Prop 120!
Proposition 120: A measure to establish Arizona’s Sovereignty over its natural resources If passed, this proposition will provide Arizona with the same authority over its own natural resources enjoyed by other states. It will grant the state the ability to more effectively protect and harness the economic potential stored in the air, water, public lands, minerals, wildlife and other natural resources within the state. Proposition 120 will increase Arizona’s ability to use federally held land: Currently, Arizona exercises control of only 29% of the land held in our state. This puts the state at a disadvantage compared to other states as we seek to fund public services that are essential to ensuring our economic solvency and infrastructure needs. The proposition contains a declaration of full sovereignty over lands and resources within Arizona as a new section to the Arizona Constitution, on the basis of maintaining “Equal Footing” with other states. Proposition 120 will allow the state to improve the management of Arizona’s natural resources: Since 2001, over two million acres of Arizona’s forests have burned due to irresponsible federal management. (Recently, federal land management has threatened the future water supply and very existence of the historic town of Tombstone.) The proposition gives Arizona exclusive sovereignty over all state territories and resources, except for Indian reservations and lands ceded to the United States, such as military forts and installations. As Arizona’s population continues to grow, it is imperative that the state be allowed to manage its own land and benefit from the wealth of its resources. The continued vitality of our state will depend heavily on our ability to exercise our authority over the natural wealth currently being denied us.
Chester Crandell, State Representative, Arizona House of Representatives, Heber
Ranching Families Support Prop 120
The federal government has already failed Arizona…if the catastrophic forest fires have not been enough….Just watch what they have planned for the water in Arizona. The federal government claims jurisdiction over everything it desires in Arizona – the animals, the water, and the lands. Proposition 120 provides all of Arizona’s citizens the opportunity to assert their opinion of whether or not we in Arizona or the federal government bureaucrats in Washington care more about our animals, water and lands. The fact is – we in Arizona care more. Please vote YES on Proposition 120!
Norman J. Hinz, President, Arizona Cattle Feeders’ Association, Phoenix
Patrick Bray, Executive Vice President, Arizona Cattlemen’s Association, Phoenix
ANALYSIS BY LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
In 1910, the United States Congress passed the Arizona-New Mexico Enabling Act, allowing Arizona to become a state. The Enabling Act granted Arizona approximately 10.9 million acres of land, referred to as “state trust land”. The state land trust is intended to produce revenue for various public institutions (schools, colleges, prisons, etc.). The state can lease or sell trust land, and the natural products (timber, minerals, etc.) of the land, only to the “highest and best bidder” at public auction. In 1936, Congress amended the Enabling Act to give Arizona more flexibility in managing and disposing of trust land by allowing the state to exchange trust land for other public or private lands. Arizona did not amend its state Constitution to incorporate that authority for land exchanges. The Arizona Supreme Court has determined that without amending the Arizona Constitution, the state cannot conduct land exchanges. Proposition 119 would amend the Arizona Constitution to allow the state to exchange state trust land for other public land in this state if the following requirements are met: 1. The exchange must be in the best interest of the state land trust. 2. The purpose of the exchange must be to either assist in preserving and protecting military facilities in this state from encroaching development or to improve the management of state lands for the purpose of sale or lease, or conversion of state land to public use. 3. There must be two independent appraisals that show that the true value of the land the state receives in the exchange is equal to or greater than the true value of the trust land the state conveys. There also must be two independent analyses that detail the income to the state land trust before and the projected income to the trust after the exchange, the financial impact of the exchange on each county, city, town and school district in which the lands are located, the physical, economic and natural resource impacts of the exchange on the local community and the impacts on local land uses and land use plans. 4. A detailed public notice of a proposed exchange must be given, public hearings must be held and an opportunity for public comment must be given. 5. A proposed exchange is not effective unless it is approved by the voters at a statewide November general election.
ARGUMENTS “FOR” PROPOSITION 119
Support State Trust Land Accountability and Transparency Vote “Yes” on Proposition 119
Proposition 119 provides for accountable and transparent state trust land exchanges by requiring that each exchange be approved by the Arizona voters. This proposed constitutional amendment, if passed by the voters, authorizes land exchanges between the State Land Department and the Federal Government. The land exchanges can be for two purposes: improving the management of the state lands for the purpose of sale or lease or conversion to public use or for the protecting military facilities Any exchange will have to be referred to the ballot by the legislature and approved by the voters in order to be consummated. All exchanges must have two appraisals, an analysis, and be vetted at two public meetings. Full and up-front disclosure of the parcels involved is also required, so there will be no surprises regarding which lands are involved. The voters have been skeptical of past land exchange measures that gave broad open-ended exchange authority to the State Land Department. This measure reigns in that authority and says there must be public involvement and review as well as public support via a vote prior to any exchange. This will help address checkerboard land ownership that hinders protection of wildlife habitat and will help protect state trust lands that are adjacent to some military facilities. We encourage you to vote “yes” on this important measure.
John Nelson, State Senator, Arizona State Senate, Legislative District 12, Litchfield Park
Sandy Bahr, Director, Sierra Club-Grand Canyon Chapter, Phoenix
SCR 1001 (Prop 119) – THCC POSITION: SUPPORT
Statement: The Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce supports Prop 119 and believes it is the best interest of the community to allow the state to exchange land to protect the corridors surrounding our military installations. The military provides a huge economic impact on Tucson, Phoenix and Sierra Vista and we encourage the further development of each military base. The exchange of land allows the military to be sensitive to neighborhood concerns regarding noise and traffic and provides a win-win for the citizens of our state.
Lea Marquez Peterson, President & CEO, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Tucson
Tannya Gaxiola, Chairwoman, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Tucson
YES ON PROPOSITION 119
Proposition 119 is Arizona’s opportunity to communicate to the United States Department of Defense that we are serious about protecting and preserving our military bases and facilities. Please vote YES on Proposition 119. Preserving our system of military bases in Arizona not only guarantees that many of America’s greatest heroes reside in our own communities and become part of the fabric of our future, but also that the military industry continues to be viable here – and that means keeping thousands of jobs and an economic contribution in excess of $9 billion per year. Proposition 119 allows the Arizona State Land Department to help in preserving military bases and facilities by providing land for those uses, while, at the same time, earning money for public schools and other institutions, which own those lands in Trust. I participated in drafting Proposition 119, and am pleased to say it honors private property rights, including our precious water rights, through independent appraisals and public hearings. Another significant benefit of Proposition 119 is that it requires all parties involved to engage in thorough and transparent public processes and hearings before any land exchange is undertaken. It is also important to note that EACH proposed land exchange would go to a statewide VOTE. These kinds of exchanges could lead to more thoughtful land use decisions in many Arizona communities. Please vote “yes” on Proposition 119. It will lead to great things for Arizona.
Maria Baier, Arizona State Land Commissioner, Phoenix
Why you should vote YES: 1. It will HELP OUR MILITARY BASES in Arizona. This year I sponsored legislation that reinforced the legislature’s support of Luke Air Force Base and its efforts to obtain the F-35 fighter mission. It had unanimous legislative support and was recorded as part of the official public record submitted to the military. At many of the meetings I heard the same message….we need to protect the base from encroachment so that the military can do its job. This initiative will provide the necessary tools needed to protect our military bases and facilities throughout the state. 2. The military not only safeguards our state and Country, but it provides a HUGE ECONOMIC BENEFIT to our state. The military facilities in our state provide a positive economic impact of $9.1 Billion and more than 96,000 jobs. 3. Vote YES. You can help Arizona and you can help America. All it takes is your vote.
Debbie Lesko, State Representative, House Majority Whip, Arizona House of Representatives, Glendale
The Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection urges you to VOTE YES on Proposition 119. This proposition seeks to provide a means to conserve Arizona State Trust lands and create open space buffers around military bases. It includes an amendment to the state constitution to allow land exchanges of State Trust land in order to protect military facilities and properly manage, protect, and use State Trust lands. Proposition 119 provides an avenue for accountability and transparency to the exchange process, a critical condition to ensure that the citizens of Arizona have a voice in the process. These measures include two independent analyses of lands for exchange, public hearings regarding the exchange, and a statewide vote during general election concerning any proposed exchanges. When Arizona became a state 100 years ago, the federal government gave Arizona over 10 million acres of land for the benefit of public schools and 13 other state institutions. According to the current Arizona constitution, State Trust land must be leased or sold to the highest bidder, leaving few other opportunities for State Trust lands. Most State Trust land is currently under lease (commercial, grazing, agriculture, or mineral), although to date over one million acres have been sold and developed. Proposition 119 is good first step to modernize the methods for planning and disposition of State Trust lands. For years, conservationists across the state have been searching for meaningful State Trust Land reform, with the goal of protecting a small sub-set of lands that contain important wildlife habitat, creeks and streams, open space, and recreational and scenic values. This proposition makes a welcomed change to the current method of State Trust land disposal and allows for a continuing discussion regarding how Arizona can best address its land ownership. We encourage you to VOTE YES on Proposition 119.
Carolyn Campbell, Executive Director, Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection, Tucson
Trevor Hare, Conservation Science Chair, Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection, Tucson
Protect State Trust Lands!
Vote YES on Proposition 119
There are over 9 million acres of state trust land in Arizona and many of them are among the most scenic and environmentally important places in the state. Many of those acres are in a “checkerboard” pattern of alternating ownership, creating very difficult land management issues. Proposition 119 amends the Arizona Constitution to allow the exchange of state trust lands for other public lands with the intention of either protecting military facilities in Arizona by buffering them from development or converting the exchanged lands to public use. This last purpose would help achieve conservation goals such as removing state lands from within national monuments . With Proposition 119, voters finally have an opportunity to implement a process whereby state trust lands can be exchanged for federal lands in a manner that ensures accountability and transparency . The exchange process will have an open and public process that: identifies all lands that will be exchanged; requires two land appraisals; includes an analysis of the impacts; and requires two public meetings. Each land exchange must also go to the voters, so the voters have the final say to ensure that an exchange is truly in the public’s interests . This will also help limit the number of exchange proposals. The Grand Canyon Trust supports this proposal because it is good for conservation and in the best interest of the schools and other beneficiaries of the state land trust. The Grand Canyon Trust urges you to vote YES on Proposition 119!
Nikolai Lash, Program Director, Grand Canyon Trust, Flagstaff
Rick Moore, Senior Director of Programs, Grand Canyon Trust, Flagstaff Support Open and Accountable State Trust Land Exchanges
Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry supports Proposition 119 Few industries have as strong of a positive impact on Arizona’s economy as defense and aerospace. A 2010 Arizona Chamber Foundation policy brief found that private sector defense and aerospace manufacturers account for 37,000 direct jobs that pay average annual salaries of $85,000 (see www.azchamber.com/policy/foundation). These industries depend on the continued operations of military installations throughout the state. Arizona’s five major Army, Air Force and Marine installations and four principal National Guard operations are responsible for over 96,000 direct and indirect jobs. These facilities contribute $9.1 billion in economic output and $401 million in state and local tax revenue according to a 2008 report by the Arizona Department of Commerce. Simply put, our state has lost almost 250,000 jobs since the beginning of the Great Recession. Although improving, the economy is still fragile. Proposition 119 will help prevent incompatible land use that could put at risk the jobs associated with military bases. For these installations to remain vibrant, they must allow for the full spectrum of military testing and training operations on the ground and in the air. Proposition 119 will ensure they are able to complete their critical missions and remain an integral part of Arizona’s economy for decades to come. We urge voters to support Proposition 119.
Glenn Hamer, President & CEO, Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Phoenix
Doug Yonko, Chairman, Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Phoenix
Tucson Metro Chamber SUPPORTS Proposition 119
The Tucson Metro Chamber is a membership-based business advocacy organization that represents more than 1350 businesses in Tucson and Pima County. Small business makes up approximately 85 percent of Chamber membership, reflecting the overall business community. The Chamber works to develop a climate in which businesses can create jobs in a robust economy. The Chamber supports ballot measures such as Prop 119 that will promote economic development and environmental protection. As Arizona grows, it is imperative that our State has the authority to exchange state trust lands to preserve open space, avoid encroachment on military installations and continue to benefit public education. The diverse military facilities in Arizona operate within a physical environment uniquely suited to their mission objectives. Combined, they represent a critical component of our nation’s defense. Likewise, Arizona’s military and defense industry generates tens of thousands of jobs, more than $9 billion dollars in economic activity; and hundreds of millions of dollars in state and local tax revenue. The stability of this employment and tax base is indispensable to the fiscal health of the State of Arizona. Prop 119 provides for a fair and open process to evaluate which state trust lands are going to be put before the voters for exchange and prescribes a narrow provision of state trust lands subject to this authority. The proposition ensures that the result of any recommended exchange shall continue to benefit public education without any diminution of value. This measure has broad support from environmental organizations, economic development groups and other business advocacy groups. Please join us in voting YES on Proposition 119.
Bruce L. Dusenberry, Chair of the Board, Tucson Metro Chamber, Tucson
Michael Varney, Chief Executive Officer, Tucson Metro Chamber, Tucson
Paid for by Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
Proposition 119 creates a constitutional framework to provide future generations of Arizonans to protect the value of state trust lands and to protect Arizona’s valuable military bases from encroaching development. Voting “Yes” will amend the Arizona Constitution to create a narrow process for state trust land exchanges only if the result of doing so would 1) provide a buffer for military installations from encroaching development; and/or 2) convert the land to public use or if the swap would improve land management, to help sell or lease trust lands. Proposition 119 protects local communities and state land by ensuring that these land exchanges take place in an open, public and participative environment and one that requires the vote of the people.
Nicole W. Stickler, Phoenix
Statement in Support – Proposition 119 This statement in strong support of Proposition 119 is submitted on behalf of Arizona’s cities and towns, proud partners of the U.S. military and advocates of its presence in our strategically critical state. Arizona’s cities and towns recognize the vital contributions that our major military installations make to the state and local economies. Collectively, these installations create and support over 100,000 jobs in Arizona and are responsible for nearly $10 billion in total economic output every year. Additionally, Arizona’s military industry generates some $400 million in tax revenues annually. Even more critical than their economic impact is the role these installations play in maintaining our national security. Our unique facilities provide for unparalleled training, testing and readiness opportunities. Ensuring the mission viability of the state’s military installations remains a top priority for Arizona’s Mayors and City/Town Council members. The long-term mission viability of a base is one of the most critical factors that the Department of Defense considers when deciding whether to preserve, expand or close a military installation. Proposition 119 helps protect the strength of military bases in Arizona by authorizing the State Land Department to participate in land exchanges to prevent encroachment on a base’s operations without harming private property rights. Proposition 119 also establishes a process to ensure transparency for all land exchanges, including requirements for legislative and voter approval, to guarantee protection of state trust land and private property rights. The League of Arizona Cities and Towns encourages all voters to support Proposition 119.
Doug Von Gausig, President, League of Arizona Cities and Towns, Clarkdale
Mark Mitchell, Vice President, League of Arizona Cities and Towns, Tempe
Vote YES on Proposition 119
The network of military facilities in Arizona comprises an integrated array of bases, testing and training facilities, ranges, and airspace that operate within a physical environment uniquely suited to their individual and combined mission objectives and critical to our Nation’s defense posture. The network is also an essential part of our State’s economy. The importance of military facilities and operations located in Arizona to the U.S. military cannot be understated: Arizona is distinctively positioned to satisfy the majority of the needs of the Department of Defense for many years to come with our unique network of capabilities, training resources, research, development, test, and evaluation activities. Arizona’s military industry generates thousands of jobs, more than $9 billion dollars in economic activity, and hundreds of millions of dollars in State and local tax revenue. The stability of employment and tax revenues produced by the Arizona military industry are indispensable to the fiscal health of the State. Arizona leads the nation in established standards to balance private property rights and compatible land use to protect and enhance the missions and long-term viability of military facilities and operating areas. Proposition 119 further demonstrates Arizona’s commitment to that balance through a transparent exchange process that protects State Trust Land beneficiaries as well as military missions and installations. Proposition 119 strengthens the partnership among agencies, organizations, and stakeholders at the local, State, and federal levels, with the common goal of preserving the unique and irreplaceable assets of Arizona’s network of military facilities, and ensuring their long-term sustainability as keystones in the nation’s defense and a cornerstone of the State’s economy. Please join us in voting YES on Proposition 119.
Lisa A. Atkins, Co-Chair, Military Affairs Commission, Litchfield Park
Thomas M. Finnegan, Co-Chair, Military Affairs Commission, Sierra Vista
Support the Airmen, Soldiers and Marines Who Protect Our Freedom We are collectively urging you to support Proposition 119 on the November ballot. This proposition includes provisions to facilitate State trust land exchanges for the purpose of preservation of the military missions of the State of Arizona. Our constituency, consisting of the citizens and businesses of Arizona, is supportive of these measures to preserve the primary economic engine in our State. The importance of military facilities and operations located in Arizona to the U.S. military cannot be understated: Arizona is distinctively positioned to satisfy the majority of the needs of the Department of Defense for many years to come with our unique network of capabilities, training resources, research, development, test, and evaluation activities. As the Presidents and Directors of the State’s military installation support groups, we stand ready to address any questions you may have with regard to the benefit of this change to the State or to the specific benefit to individual installations. Please join us in voting YES on Proposition 119.
Ron Sites, President, Fighter Country Partnership, Goodyear
Mike Grassinger, President, DM-50, Tucson
Kevin Peterson, President, Huachuca 50, Sierra Vista
Cochise County, the City of Sierra Vista and the Town of Huachuca City Urge You to Vote “YES” on Proposition 119 We are the home of Fort Huachuca’s family of more than 25,000 Soldiers, civilians, contractors and their families. We, and the entire state, benefit directly from the more than $2B in economic activity generated by the Fort. Over the years, we have used all of the tools available to us to help protect the base from encroachment. Proposition 119 will provide us with yet another tool to protect Fort Huachuca’s vital missions. The long-term mission viability of a military installation is one of the most critical factors that the Department of Defense considers when deciding whether a base is preserved, receives new missions or closes. Proposition 119 helps protect the viability of military bases in Arizona by authorizing the State Land Department to participate in land exchanges to prevent encroachment on military operations without harming private property rights. Proposition 119 also sets up a process to ensure transparency for all land exchanges, including requirements for legislative and voter approval, to guarantee protection of state trust land and private property rights. We urge you to vote “yes” on Proposition 119.
Rick Mueller, Mayor, City of Sierra Vista, Sierra Vista
Pat Call, District 1 Supervisor, Cochise County, Bisbee
Byron Robertson, Mayor, Town of Huachuca City, Huachuca City
Vote Yes on Proposition 119 It will provide an important tool to support our national security, preserve our military bases as important economic engines, and achieve important land and water conservation objectives by securing healthy buffers around our military bases and ranges. This is a winning situation for all Arizonans. Critical military testing and training facilities have been in operation in Southern Arizona and Tucson for decades. They have helped make our soldiers, sailors .airmen and Marines the best trained, best equipped, best led and most respected military force in the World. Protecting our ability to conduct military training and testing in Southern Arizona is in our national interest and vital to our national security. Military assets in Arizona provide an economic impact of over $9 Billion annually and over 96,000 jobs within our State. Preserving the military installations and ranges in Arizona is an essential part of our State economy. Environmental preservation is fostered through appropriate use of land as a buffer around our military bases and ranges. Additionally, this proposal includes the kind of transparency and accountability that is necessary to ensure that land exchanges are in the best interest of the State trust and the larger public. Prop 119 provides a fair and open process to evaluate what state trust lands can be exchanged. It requires public involvement and review as well as public support via a vote prior to any exchange. We are individually and collectively urging you to support Proposition 119 on the November ballot.
Eugene D. Santarelli, Lieutenant General (Retired), USAF, President, S’relli Consulting, LLC, Tucson
Robert Johnston, Lieutenant General (Retired) USMC, Tucson
Ronald E. Shoopman, President, Southern Arizona Leadership Council, Tucson
Vote Yes on Prop 119
Arizona is uniquely situated because of the network of military installations and ranges that provide necessary training assets for every branch of our military. Arizona has also recognized the stable economic value of the network of military installations in our State of more than $9 billion annually. Arizona’s communities and policy leaders have invested a significant amount of time and effort in adopting policies that protect and enhance military missions so vital to our national defense. Continued viability of the installations is largely dependent on the ability of the installations to continue without encroachment. Equally important are the test and training ranges, and the access to those ranges. It is in Arizona’s best interests to keep the missions and installations in Arizona. The best way to protect the network of Arizona military installations and test and training ranges is by passing Proposition 119 to enable the State to use state and federal assets to protect the state and federal assets of the military installations.
R. Thomas Browning, Brigadier General, USAF (Ret’d), Scottsdale
ANALYSIS BY LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
In 1910, the United States Congress passed the Arizona-New Mexico Enabling Act, allowing Arizona to become a state and granting Arizona approximately 10.9 million acres of land, referred to as “state trust land”. The state land trust produces revenue for various public institutions in this state (schools, colleges, prisons, etc.). Proposition 118 would amend the Arizona Constitution to provide that for fiscal years 2012-2013 through 2020-2021, the annual distribution from the state trust land permanent funds to the various public institutions would be 2.5% of the average market values of the fund for the immediately preceding five calendar years. After fiscal year 2020-2021, the distribution formula would return to the current formula set out in the Arizona Constitution: average total rate of return for the previous five fiscal years, less percentage change in inflation, multiplied by the average market value over the previous five years.
ARGUMENTS “FOR” PROPOSITION 118
Prop 118 allows us to simplify the formula for education funding, ensuring that money will be distributed to support K-12 education each year from Arizona’s Permanent Land Endowment Trust Fund. Best of all, it accomplishes this with NO new taxes and NO additional general fund spending. Right now there are about 8.1 million acres in the state’s trust fund for K-12 education. Every time the state sells a piece of state land, those proceeds are deposited into the State Treasurer’s Office to be managed into perpetuity. Today the market value of the Permanent Land Endowment Trust Fund is more than $3.4 billion. If that were a college endowment, it would be the twenty-first largest endowment in the country. Upon review of an asset allocation study for the fund, it became clear that the formula used to distribute earnings was critically flawed. Its complications have resulted in uneven and unpredictable outcomes – including a year when ZERO dollars were distributed for K-12 education. If left unchanged, this current formula would likely result in several additional years – - over the next decade – - of zero dollar distributions. This is unacceptable, and must be fixed. An endowment this large should never have years of zero dollars available to benefit Arizona’s children and teachers. Prop 118 fixes the formula and ensures consistent, reliable distributions that will protect the principal and never result in a zero dollar distribution. Prop 118 achieves this with no new taxes and no additional obligations for new spending. As members of Arizona’s Board of Investment we support this improved formula and encourage you to vote “YES” on Prop 118.
Doug Ducey, Chairman, Arizona Board of Investment, Arizona State Treasurer, Phoenix
Beth Ford, Member, Arizona Board of Investment, Pima County Treasurer, Tucson
Scott A. Smith, Member, Arizona Board of Investment, Director, Arizona Department of Administration, Phoenix
Lauren W. Kingry, Member, Arizona Board of Investment, Arizona Superintendent of Financial Institutions, Phoenix
Harry A. Papp, Member, Arizona Board of Investment, Managing Partner, L. Roy Papp & Associates, LLP, Phoenix
I strongly support Prop 118. There is a special relationship between Arizona’s education community, the State Treasurer’s Office, and the State Land Department. Public education is by far the largest beneficiary of State Trust Land managed by the State Land Department. Revenues derived from the sale of State Trust Land, as well as the sale of natural products (such as sand, gravel, water and fuel wood), and royalties from mineral materials are deposited in the Permanent Land Endowment Trust Fund managed by the State Treasurer’s Office. Today, the State Land Department manages 8.1 million acres of land on behalf of K-12 education, and the Permanent Land Endowment Trust fund is worth more than $3.5 billion. Earning money for Arizona’s public schools is the primary mission of the Trust’s management. In 2010 the State Land Department deposited $91.7 million in the Endowment. Because of the inadequacy of the current formula used to distribute earnings from the Endowment, K-12 education received no money in 2010. Prop 118 fixes that inadequate formula. Had the new formula been in place in 2010, public education would have received $48 million from the Permanent Land Endowment Trust Fund. Vote “Yes” on Prop 118.
Maria Baier, Arizona State Land Commissioner, Phoenix
Prop 118 Provides Reliable Education Funding in Arizona
The Friends of the Arizona School Boards Association urges your support of Prop. 118. It’s a win-win proposal – providing Arizona’s classrooms with more reliable funding and doing so through a formula change that still protects the underlying value of the account which has been derived from state trust land sales – the State Land Trust Permanent Endowment fund. There are over nine million acres of state trust land, with Arizona’s public schools being the largest beneficiary, holding 87% of these lands. The interest earned off the sale of trust lands is deposited in the State Land Trust Permanent Endowment fund. Arizona’s classrooms are direct recipients of the interest earned from this Endowment fund. Over a decade ago, an interest distribution formula was put in place to help curb volatility and to protect our public schools asset from inflation. Unfortunately, the formula has not smoothed out distribution volatility, making it difficult for our public schools to budget. Prop. 118 fixes this by establishing a new flat distribution percentage to allow for consistent distributions while still protecting the fund from inflationary effects. Please vote YES ON 118 to enhance education funding to Arizona’s public schools.
Dee Navarro, President, Friends of the Arizona School Boards Association, Phoenix
Dr. Tim Ogle, Executive Director, Friends of the Arizona School Boards Association, Phoenix
Dear Voter, I encourage your “YES” vote on Proposition 118. This measure is a positive change for the distribution formula of state trust funds for education. There is currently $3.2 billion set aside in the Trust Fund to benefit education. In some years, the distribution has been as high as $80 million, and in other years there has been no funding at all. This type of swing in distribution based on the size of the fund and the current formula makes it more difficult for our schools to plan and spend accordingly. As taxpayers, we demand that schools budget efficiently and use their resources wisely to educate our children. This proposal will make that easier by ensuring that the annual Trust Fund allocation to Arizona schools is smooth, even and predictable. A “Yes” vote on Proposition 118 is a win for our children and teachers. A “Yes” vote on Proposition 118 is a win for taxpayers and advocates of good government.
Jan Brewer, Governor, Phoenix
Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry supports Proposition 118 The Arizona Chamber has a longstanding position of developing a school financing system and educational structure that improves learning outcomes in a financially responsible manner. Proposition 118 is a simple yet important change that will significantly impact K-12 funding in a way that is financially responsible and consistent with the Chamber’s education goals. This measure will result in more reliable and consistent K-12 education funding with no new taxes and no new spending from the General Fund. Proposition 118 will restructure the distribution formula for the Permanent Land Endowment Fund, whose largest beneficiary is K-12 education. Because of the complexity of the current funding formula, the distribution of dollars is uneven and unpredictable. In fact, there are some years when there are zero dollars distributed to K-12 from this fund. The Chamber supports Proposition 118 because of its fiscally responsible and stable approach to helping fund K-12 education. We urge voters to support Proposition 118.
Glenn Hamer, President & CEO, Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Phoenix
Doug Yonko, Chairman, Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Phoenix
Vote YES on Prop 118 to help support Arizona public education, teachers and children. Prop 118 fixes and improves the Arizona State Endowment distribution formula providing a safer and more reliable source of funding for education and other beneficiaries. Prop 118 protects the principle of the Trust from inflation, stabilizes distributions to beneficiaries including public education. Prop 118 will protect the trust and its beneficiaries from wild market fluctuations and guarantees there will not be another year resulting in zero dollars going to education over the next decade. The current formula was approved over a decade ago when the Endowment was given the ability to invest in stocks. Although written with the best of intentions the old formula was never tested for the economic volatility of the past several years. Simply stated, the formula did not work properly and education funding suffered. After the urging of current and former State Treasurers, The Arizona State Board of Investment commissioned an independent Asset Allocation Study (available online at www.aztreasury.gov ) to suggest positive change to Arizona’s Constitution. The result is Prop 118. Arizona can be proud that our State Land Endowment has been protected while many other western states have squandered theirs. Prop 118 continues in this tradition by further protecting the Trust and providing needed stability for education funding. The Arizona State Endowment is a permanent endowment and deserves a solution that will provide permanent, long term stability for Arizona’s future. As current and former members of the Arizona Board of Investment, we support Prop 118 and encourage all Arizona citizens to do the same. This change of the formula is good financial management. Vote YES on Prop 118.
Hon. Dean Martin, Former Arizona State Treasurer, Chairman, Arizona Board of Investment, Phoenix
Hon. Carol Springer, Former Arizona State Treasurer, Chairman, Arizona Board of Investment, Prescott
Hon. Tony West, Former Arizona State Treasurer, Chairman, Arizona Board of Investment, Phoenix
As Arizona’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, I support Prop. 118 because it will bring predictability to the distribution of revenue from Arizona’s state land trust fund. The land trust fund provides vital revenue for Arizona’s public schools, and the current complex formula means that we have no way of predicting how much money will be available in future years. A predictable distribution from the trust fund will enable the state to budget its general fund dollars more responsibly, because it is less likely that we will over- or underestimate the distribution from the trust, and appropriate too many or too few state dollars. Under the current system, we feast when times are good, and starve when times are bad. The method proposed by Prop. 118 will allow the trust to grow substantially when times are good, leaving plenty of savings to help fund our school system through difficult economic times in the future. Please join me in voting “yes” for proposition 118, to put state land trust revenues to work for our most valuable resource, Arizona’s children. Sincerely,
John Huppenthal, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Phoenix
Arizona’s education community supports Prop 118. It is a good fix that helps better fund public schools. It is not the silver bullet that will solve all the problems in our state as it relates to education, but more reliable funding from the State Land Trust Fund is a step in the right direction. In 2000, Arizona voters created the Classroom Site Fund. This fund was established to direct money to teachers’ salaries, classroom size reduction and dropout prevention programs. The Classroom Site Fund is supported by the revenue generated from the State Land Trust Fund and the State Land Department. The first $72.3 million is used in the general funding formula. Any money in excess of $72.3 million each year is deposited into the Classroom Site Fund. In 2010 and 2011, no money was deposited into the Classroom Site Fund. Had the new distribution formula being proposed in Prop 118 been in place, the fund would have received $38 million over the course of those two years. AEA has worked closely with the State Treasurer’s Office and the State Land Department to make sure this proposition is in the best interest of Arizona’s teachers and students. Prop 118 guarantees money will be available each and every year. If it passes in November, Arizona public schools will receive more than $62 million. If Prop 118 is defeated and the current distribution formula stays in place, education will receive approximately $50 million. With the cuts that public education has endured, those additional funds can go a long way. Arizona schools need this simplified formula. Vote “YES” on Prop 118 .
Joseph H. Thomas, Vice President, Arizona Education Association, Phoenix
Nidia C. Lias, Treasurer, Arizona Education Association, Phoenix
Dear Arizona Taxpayer, Prop 118 is a fair and practical way to smooth out earnings distributions from Arizona’s $3.4 billion Land Endowment. By avoiding the usual boom-and-bust distribution cycle, Prop 118 will help the beneficiaries of the State Land Trust Fund (mainly public education) to achieve a more predictable income stream year after year. At the same time, smoother budgeting over the business cycle will help beneficiaries during boom years to avoid developing unreasonable expectations about future spending growth. This is a common sense solution to a problematic funding formula. Prop 118 is a rare event in Arizona politics: it’s a win-win for all of the stakeholders, whether those stakeholders are government employees providing education services, or taxpayers working hard to support their families and build our economy. PLEASE VOTE YES ON PROP 118. For more ideas about state and local tax and budget policy, and to help us enhance freedom and protect free enterprise, contact the Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity, at www.aztaxpayers.org, (602) 478-0146, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tom Jenney, Phoenix
ANALYSIS BY LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
Proposition 117 would amend the Arizona Constitution to cap the annual increase in the value of real property used to calculate property taxes to 5% over the value of the property for the previous year, beginning with the 2015 tax year. Currently, there is no limit on full cash value. This limitation would apply to property values used in determining all property taxes on the real property.
ARGUMENTS “FOR” PROPOSITION 117
Vote YES on Prop 117 – Limit Growth in Property Valuations & Exposure to Tax Increases The Arizona Tax Research Association (ATRA) urges your support of Prop 117 because it will protect property taxpayers from dramatic increases in property valuations that often lead to significant tax increases. Prop 117 will limit annual assessed value growth to 5%. In addition, Prop 117 will simplify one of the most complicated property tax systems in the country. Currently, property in Arizona is taxed on two values: full cash, or market value (FCV) and the limited property value (LPV). The Constitution requires that FCV represent the market value, which is unlimited in the amount it can increase each year. In contrast, the LPV is required to annually increase by the greater of 10% or 25% of the difference between the current year FCV and the previous year’s LPV. That doesn’t just sound complicated – it is. Prop 117 limits the taxation of property to the LPV and the FCV will no longer be taxable. Eliminating the tax on market value will prevent a repeat of the dramatic increases in property taxes that occurred between 2004 and 2009 when real estate values skyrocketed. ATRA strongly believes that the 5% limit is fair for taxpayers and Arizona state and local governments. A reasonable limit will not only provide greater predictability for taxpayers, it will bring much needed stability to future local government budgets. Had the 5% limit been in place over the last decade, it would have prevented $33 billion in value from being added to the tax rolls that was ultimately removed when the market collapsed.
David L. Minard, Treasurer, Arizona Tax Research Association, Peoria
Kevin J. McCarthy, President, Arizona Tax Research Association, Gilbert
I am in full support of Proposition 117. I have worked in the Assessor’s Office since 1977 and witnessed, first hand, the installation of the current property tax formula in 1980. At the time, it was a welcome relief from the runaway taxation that was occurring due to rising property values. However, the current system is flawed with many complicated formulas that are outdated and no longer are applicable to the times we live in. For many years I have been advocating that the Limited Value formula needed to be simplified and that property taxes needed to be more predictable. This measure does both. Having all ad-valorem property taxes calculated from the Limited Property Value and simplifying the LPV formula to a simple 5% calculation will greatly assist Arizona assessors in explaining tax bills to the property owner. Please join me and vote Yes on Proposition 117.
Joe Wehrle, Yuma County Assessor, Yuma
Proposition 117 is good for the taxpayers of Arizona. It creates a limitation for valuations of locally assessed taxpayers. The provision would not shift tax burdens from commercial properties to residential properties (homeowners). The original two tiered system of Full Cash Value and Limited value was to protect the taxpayers from rising values and uncontrolled spending by the taxing jurisdictions. History has shown that as property tax values grow, the impulse by government to “keep the tax rates steady”, thus generate more revenue, increases. This proposal is timely as in most areas of the state; Full Cash and Limited Values are identical. Additionally, the administrative and judicial appeal systems will remain intact. I support Proposition 117 to provide more predictability and stability to the taxpayers of Arizona.
James R. Brodnax, Glendale
Farm Bureau Supports a “Yes” Vote on Proposition 117 Prop. 117 seeks to simplify one of the most complex property tax systems in the country and provide stability to property owners and taxing jurisdictions alike. By taxing property owners on one value rather than the current method that uses two different valuations, everyone, including farmers and ranchers, will be better able to predict their property tax burden. In addition, reasonable limits on the growth of property valuations subject to taxation will ensure short term spikes in property value, like those experienced during the housing bubble, do not result in exorbitant, unsustainable tax bills for property owners. The stability of the property tax system should have a positive effect on the economy as capital thrives on stability and predictability and attracting capital equates to attracting jobs. Passage of proposition 117 would provide clarity, simplicity and predictability for all taxpayers.
Kevin G. Rogers, President, Arizona Farm Bureau Federation, Gilbert
James W. Klinker, Chief Administrative Officer, Arizona Farm Bureau Federation, Gilbert
VOTE YES ON PROP 117 – SIMPLIFY AND LIMIT YOUR PROPERTY TAXES
As the largest commercial real estate trade association in the state with a vital interest in reducing property taxes for all our citizens, we urge your support of Prop 117. Arizona has one of the most complicated property tax systems in the country . We believe this property tax reform proposal will simplify Arizona’s property tax system. Arizona’s property tax system, which employs multiple sets of taxable values, has been the subject of considerable criticism for decades. The two sets of taxable values (secondary and primary) largely serve to confuse property taxpayers . For the first time in decades, these two taxable values are now almost identical due to the dramatic decline in the real estate market. As a result, Arizona citizens have a rare opportunity to limit the taxation of property to just one value without negatively impacting local government budgets. Currently, there is no limit on the annual growth in secondary values. The lack of any limit in the growth of secondary values added considerably to the volatility that characterized Arizona’s property tax system over the last decade. Prop 117 will limit the taxation of property to one value (primary), which will be limited to 5% annual growth . This measure will not only increase the stability of Arizona’s property tax system but also provide greater predictability for both government and taxpayers. We strongly encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to SIMPLIFY AND LIMIT this system that has been in place since 1980.
Tim Lawless, President, Arizona Chapter of NAIOP, Commercial Real Estate Development Association, Phoenix
Keaton Merrell, Vice Chairman of the Board, Arizona Chapter of NAIOP, Commercial Real Estate Development Association, Phoenix
Keep Your Home Affordable – Yes on 117!
Keeping home prices affordable is essential to the recovery of Arizona’s housing market. A key variable impacting affordability is the property taxes paid by a homeowner. For every dollar of new taxes the ability of a buyer to afford a home is diminished. Prior to the recent downturn, Arizona homeowners experienced dramatic increases in their property tax bills because of the major increases in their property values. Supporting Prop. 117 will prevent these dramatic increases from happening in the future, by placing a reasonable limit on the increase in property value that the government can use, while ensuring the tax revenues are stable for necessary government services. Keeping your property taxes more predictable and stable will help ensure that you will not be taxed out of your current home or priced out of buying your next home. Please Vote YES on 117!
Connie Wilhelm, President, Home Builders Association of Central Arizona, Phoenix
Spencer Kamps, Vice-President of Legislative Affairs, Home Builders Association of Central Arizona, Phoenix
Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry Supports Proposition 117
The Arizona Chamber supports a tax system that is globally competitive, fair, consistent, and equitable. Proposition 117 moves Arizona toward such a system by capping the annual growth in locally assessed property values at 5% and simplifying one of the most complicated property tax systems in the country. The 5% cap will protect taxpayers from dramatic increases in tax bills due to real estate market volatility. This is especially important during a real estate bubble such as the one Arizona experienced during the last decade. Had the 5% cap been in place during that time, over $30 billion in property value that was added during the bubble and subsequently lost during the recession would never have been added to the tax rolls in the first place. In addition to providing taxpayers with greater property tax stability and predictability, the 5% cap also provides greater stability and predictability to governments. Highly volatile revenue streams make it difficult for elected officials to consistently match revenues with expenditures. Proposition 117 will enhance the ability of governments to confidently budget and plan for the future by increasing the stability of property tax revenues. Finally, Proposition 117 greatly simplifies Arizona’s property tax system by using one value to calculate all property taxes. Instead of using one value to determine the tax that funds maintenance and operations of local governments and another that funds voter approved bonds and overrides, Proposition 117 creates a system where one value is used for all purposes. We urge voters to support Proposition 117.
Glenn Hamer, President & CEO, Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Phoenix
Doug Yonko, Chairman, Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Phoenix
Sensible property tax reform is not a partisan issue
I am proud to have sponsored the legislation, SCR 1025, that referred Proposition 117 to the ballot for consideration by Arizona voters. Furthermore, I was pleased by the bipartisan support the measure received at the Legislature. Legislators from both sides of the political aisle recognized the need to simplify and restrain our current property tax system. Proposition 117 will have real benefits for Arizona homeowners and businesses. This measure will provide predictability to a system that has been extremely volatile. This volatility has placed significant burdens on homeowners who have experienced significant tax increases and businesses seeking to plan for new investments in hiring and capital. Proposition 117 will also simplify the property tax system by using a single limited value for the calculation of all property taxes. Now is an ideal time to remove some of the unnecessary complexity from our property tax system. Please join me in supporting Proposition 117. Thank you,
Steve Yarbrough, State Senator, Arizona State Senate, Chandler
Agriculture supports a simpler and more stable property tax system
As farmers in Arizona we have enough challenges without having to deal with the rollercoaster ride of our state’s overly complex property tax system. Proposition 117 would simplify our current property tax system and smooth out some of the bumps. Farmers will still have to deal with weather, changing market conditions, and pests; but at least we will know what to expect when it comes to our property taxes. Proposition 117 will cap annual increases in the assessed value of property to 5% and use just one value for the calculation for all property taxes. These are good things and are welcome changes to our current property tax system. With one less thing to worry about we can focus more attention on the success of our farms, the people we employ, and the food we bring to your table. Please support Proposition 117.
Velma Wright Townsend, Yuma
YOUR PROPERTY TAX IS ABOUT TO SKYROCKET UP , and only you can stop it. Your property value on average has dropped more than 30 percent. Has your tax dropped that much? No, it has not. Here is why: GOVERNMENT HASN’T GIVEN YOU THE WHOLE TRUTH. Read on… If nothing changes in Arizona tax law and/or government behavior, you can expect another expensive property tax shock on your family home and small business – and very soon. You haven’t been told the truth about property taxes. Government in Arizona quietly raised the tax rate as values plummeted, taking a higher percentage of your equity. OUR MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES are about to be hit with yet ANOTHER PROPERTY TAX INCREASE, one that will pain those on fixed incomes and seniors the most. As values start rising again, so will your tax bill, and now based on newer rates that in most cases are the highest they have been in years. We must stop this before our families and in particular seniors once again have to choose between paying rising mortgage costs and daily staples like food and medicine, and the middle class has a greater burden imposed. PROPOSITION 117 WOULD PUT A 5% CAP ON THE GROWTH OF LOCALLY ASSESSED PROPERTY. It would limit government from gorging on property owners in times of rapidly increasing valuations, which we might be facing again. It will limit government to more sustainable growth levels. If you want predictable, reasonable and limited property tax increases, vote for Proposition 117.
Sal DiCiccio, Phoenix City Councilman, Phoenix
Please Vote Yes on 117!
As a homeowner on a fixed income, I can’t wait to vote Yes on 117! When the real estate boom occurred, property values skyrocketed and tax bills increased. When the real estate crash occurred most of us did NOT see a decrease in our property taxes despite considerable reductions in our property value. That’s just not right!!! With the real estate market starting to turnaround, we should not forget the hard lessons learned from the recent recession. We need to protect against unreasonable increases in our property taxes from happening again. As I read it, that’s what Prop. 117 will do – it will protect homeowners from dramatic increases in their tax bills. Homeowners should vote Yes on Prop. 117!
JoAnne Sandquist, Retired, Sierra Vista
Vote YES on Prop 117 to Protect Taxpayers
Prop 117 will protect taxpayers from exorbitant increases in AZ property values. As most tax payers are aware, Arizona’s property tax system is highly complicated for the average property owner. Our government’s tax system uses two sets of value to tax, one is supposedly reflective of the market value of property (full cash value or FCV) and the other value (limited property value or LPV) stems and grows annually from a complicated technical statutory formula, typically no less than 10%. When property values grow dramatically and local governments keep tax rates the same, taxes increase by the same rate as the growth. This is what happened to a majority of property taxpayers during the 2001-2008 real estate boom. During that time, 150 taxing jurisdictions tricked taxpayers into thinking our government was not increasing taxes because tax rates remained the same. Yet what happened was that as each property value grew the result was a tax increase. Property values grew nearly 50% in the City of Phoenix between 2001 and 2008, and overall in the state, property taxes collected grew at an even greater rate of more than 60%. Why did the City of Phoenix stick to its policy of continuing the fixed combined tax rate of $1.82 while ignoring the explosive growth in values? Because the City of Phoenix received extra-ordinary cash windfall simply by doing nothing (certainly not protecting the good business sense a city government should have towards its taxpayers). Prop 117 will protect taxpayers against dramatic increases in their property tax bill and require sensibility and business acumen for each jurisdiction entity. Vote for Prop 117 which will help property owners limit the growth in taxes when they choose to keep tax rates the same during growth times.
Kurt Schneider, Phoenix
Ranching Families Support Prop 117
If only nature gave us rain like our government gives us property tax increases-we would be awash in green grass. Ranching families and all property owners should not have to be subject to such wide swings in values from one year to the next. Proposition 117 will provide for a more stable tax system without wide swings in property values from one year to the next. It’s bad enough just waiting for the rain… Please vote YES on Proposition 117!
Norman J. Hinz, President, Arizona Cattle Feeder’s Association, Phoenix
Patrick Bray, Executive Vice President, Arizona Cattlemen’s Association, Phoenix
(Under Arizona’s complicated property tax system, homeowners have seen unpredictable increases of 95 percent in property taxes between 2004 and 2009. To everyone’s dismay, many of these unexpected increases in property taxes actually occurred during a time when the market value of homes was decreasing . Under Prop 117, the amount that the tax can increase will be limited to 5 percent per year. Tax rates will stabilize. Property tax rates for new construction will be calculated to harmonize with the rates of existing homes. Local governments will be able to reliably anticipate future tax revenue. Taxpayers will be shielded from the alarming increases in property taxes that have occurred in the past with real estate bubbles. There is no effect on state aid to schools. It somewhat limits the bonding capacity of local governments – not a bad thing. There is no downside to Proposition 117. It’s a win-win for everyone. VOTE “YES” ON PROP 117 .)
Sylvia Allen, State Senator, Arizona State Senate, Candidate for Navajo County Board of Supervisors District 3, Snowflake
Lester Pearce, Former Justice of the Peace, Candidate for Maricopa County Board of Supervisors District 2, Mesa
Arizona’s current property tax system is too complex for the average property owner to understand. An ideal system is one that is simple, predictable and easily understood. Under our current property tax system, property is taxed on two values: 1) the market value, which is unlimited in the amount it can grow each year, and 2) a statutorily set value that can increase each year based on a complicated formula. Both values are subject to tax and fund a wide variety of government services. Prop 117 will limit the taxation of property to only one value and that value will be limited in annual growth of 5% (currently there is no limit). No longer will property be taxes at its market value. Narrowing the taxation of property to one value that has a reasonable limit will simplify Arizona’s property tax system and will provide greater predictability for both government and taxpayers.
Gary M. Gitlin, Paradise Valley