Arizona One Cent Sales Tax Back on Ballot
- Aug 8, 2012 | Will Frei
The sales tax is part of the Quality Education and Jobs initiative, which Secretary of State Ken Bennett disqualified from the November ballot. Though the initiative had the requisite number of signatures, Bennett blocked it because the language ". . . on the initiative circulated to voters didn't match the version pre-filed with the office."
However, Ann Eve Pederson, Chairwoman of the Quality Education and Jobs initiative successfully petitioned the Superior Court of Arizona and had Bennett's decision overturned.
Bennett based his decision on discrepancies between a paper copy of the ballot pre-filed with his office and the version circulated to voters. However, a CD version of the ballot was also pre-filed, and that version matched the circulated version completely. According to the Arizona Constitution (Art. 4 pt. 1, 1(9)), one must file a "full and correct" copy of the text attached to the "signature sheets," and Judge Robert Oberbillig ruled that the CD did just that.
The 1-cent tax in the initiative is not a new tax, but an extension of an existing tax, which Governor Jan Brewer vowed not to extend in her State of the State address.