Posted by: Donna
Heidi ho, Divas! I know everyone is doing them but a couple people have asked me how I plan to vote on the propositions this year because they value my opinion. Aww, thanks (blushes).
Here we go:
Prop 114: Amends the state constitution to deny felons the ability to recover damages from their crime victims. Sounds reasonable and is the kind of thing that comes about because of the occasional instance of a home invader being shot and suing the homeowner, which tends to enrage the public. It’s understandable to want to vote yes but you should consider that this prop is being pushed by the gun lobby and tort reformers. I recommend a no vote but I predict this passes easily.
Prop 115: Amends the state constitution to replace our highly regarded and somewhat independent merit selection system of judges and replace it with a much more partisan one where the Governor basically has control over appointing judges. Think about that. Our current Governor appointed the Espresso Pundit to the Board of Regents. HELL NO on this one.
Prop 116: Amends the state constitution to exempt most small businesses from the personal property tax. This is a tax on equipment that is a bit archaic and a pain for small companies. Yes on this one.
Prop 117: Amends the state constitution to cap appraisal values used to determine property tax rates. Sounds good but tax analyst and former General Counsel of the Department of Revenue Daniel Garrett says it will make the tax code more complex and contains a loophole that developers and wealthy property owners can exploit to shift tax increases onto lower income neighborhoods. Appears to be a regressive taxation Trojan Horse. Vote no.
Prop 118: Amends the state constitution to change the yearly distribution of the State Land Trust Fund to make it more even and predictable per year. Currently, the formula is based on fluctuating market values. Vote yes.
Prop 119: Amends the state constitution to create a framework for state trust land swaps such that they improve public lands or protect military installations. Vote yes.
Prop 120: Amends the state constitution to declare state sovereignty over most of the federal public lands within our borders. Supported by the cuckoo for cocoa puffs “states rights” crowd. No on this.
Prop 121: I’ve written here a few times about this one. It amends the constitution to replace partisan primary elections with one free-for-all where the top two vote getters go forward to the general. I’m voting no because the backers are making grand promises they have no business making (they’re now running ads claiming it will stop scandals) and it opens the door to way too many unintended consequences.
Prop 204: Amends state statute to make the temporary one cent sales tax passed in 2010 permanent, with the funds going mostly to schools. Yeah, I know, sales taxes are more regressive than other forms but we don’t really have much of a choice here. This is money the lege can’t touch. Also, every time the voters pass a tax increase it detracts from the argument that Arizonans don’t want to be taxed to pay for worthwhile things. Yes on 204.
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