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Prop 100 supporters vastly outspend opponents

By Mark Brodie

Phoenix, AZ – If voters approve Proposition 100 the sales tax would go up starting on June first. Supporters say the state needs the extra money, to avoid deeper cuts to state programs and services.

Glenn Hamer, President and C-E-O of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, says the proposal is the least painful way to help balance the budget.

"Let's face it, at this point, to some extent, it's a choice between taking on additional debt or some sort of temporary tax increase and if we just continue to take on additional debt, we're going to pay that back, with interest."

Legislative budget analysts estimate the tax would bring in around a billion dollars a year for the three years it would be in effect.

But Farrell Quinlan, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, says a tax increase would only further decrease state revenues.

"Business activity has dried up and it's not as if the taxpayers are socking away their money in their mattresses, they don't have it .so going to those very same stretched to the breaking point taxpayers, and saying we need more money is really problematic, and probably won't even raise the kind of money that they hope it does."

For the campaign itself, supporters of Prop 100 have raised more than two and a half million dollars, according to reports filed with the secretary of state's office. By comparison, the Ax the Tax committee reports raising around 12-hundred dollars.