Proposition 100 supporters have cash advantage - East Valley Tribune: Politics

Proposition 100 supporters have cash advantage

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Posted: Monday, May 17, 2010 11:09 am

Efforts by foes of a sales tax hike to get their message out are being buried under an avalanche of donations in favor of the levy.

Reports filed Friday show that more than $2.6 million has been collected from various groups to buy commercials, print ads, mailers and signs supporting Proposition 100. The single largest contributor remains the University of Arizona Foundation with its $250,000 cash infusion.

Foes operating under the Ax the Tax banner reported total donations of just slightly more than $1,200.

The election is Tuesday, though many people already have cast early ballots.

Much of the money in favor of the temporary one-cent hike in the state’s 5.6 percent sales tax comes from groups with links to education. Their interest is that a "contingency" budget adopted by lawmakers last month would cut funding for K-12 education by $428 million if the levy fails, with another $107 million coming out of universities and $15 million from community colleges.

Much of the balance is in health programs.

Gov. Jan Brewer has been the prime proponent of the temporary levy for more than a year. She said the recession has cut deeply into tax collections and that responding with only spending cuts would devastate education and health care.

Foes have argued that Arizona taxpayers also are hurting and they should not have to pay even more to the state for the taxable items they buy.

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