I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Still a ways to fall: Tax the Rich!!!

Report: Ariz. Economy Not At Bottom Yet  

POSTED: 6:45 am MST September 1, 2009
PHOENIX -- Arizona's tax revenues continue to drop and the state's economy apparently has not has reached bottom yet, according to a new state report released Monday.

The Joint Legislative Budget Committee staff's report showed state tax collections of $573 million in July. That's 10 percent below July 2008 revenue and $33 million below this year's forecast for the month.

Of the two biggest revenue sources, sales tax collections for the month were down 18 percent from a year earlier and individual income tax collections were down 11 percent. Both reflect rising unemployment and the housing industry's woes.

The monthly revenue report also said a federal economic index largely based on employment suggests that Arizona "is still mired in a recession when many other states appear to be entering the recovery phase of the next business cycle."

With the revenue slump and rising costs for health care, state officials have struggled -- unsuccessfully so far -- to keep the budget in the black.

Despite a constitutional requirement for a balanced budget, the state on June 30 finished the last fiscal year with a shortfall approaching $500 million. The treasurer has had to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars on a daily basis from a variety of state accounts to cover state operating expenses.

Arizona has a budget approved for the new fiscal year, which began July 1, but it has a projected shortfall of approximately $3.2 billion due to vetoes by Gov. Jan Brewer and subsequent action by lawmakers to provide school funding.

The new state budget was based on a revenue forecast for a 1 percent drop from the previous year.
However, the $33 million of revenue slippage already recorded in July means that revenue in the rest of the fiscal year would have to increase by 1 percent to meet the forecast, the report said. "It is unlikely that amount will be recovered in the remaining 11 months."

Closed-door bipartisan negotiations between Brewer and legislative leaders continued Monday in efforts to forge a bipartisan compromise to eliminate the shortfall.

Brewer has until Saturday to sign eight pending budget bills that do not include her call for a special election on a proposed temporary sales tax increase to help balance the budget. She vetoed much of a previous plan that also omitted the tax proposal.

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