Project Red, White & Blue
Prop 204 raises concerns about education, economy
Initiative would give money to schools, while taking money from your wallet
Reporter: Rikki Mitchell
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A proposition on this year's ballot could raise the budget for Arizona schools, while making your budget a little tighter.
Prop 204 would make a temporary one-cent sales tax increase permanent.
The money would be used for schools, transit and roads.
But critics of Prop 204 say it will make Arizona's sales tax the second highest in the country, which doesn't help a hurting economy.
Arizona State Treasurer Doug Ducey says because the money is split between education and roads, he doesn't see how the money will help schools.
"This is an education bill that's being sold as education but doesn't go to reform or improve education," says Ducey. "It really is a special interest bill. It was paid for by special interest. The road contractors are the ones that paid the money and got the signatures to put it on the ballot, and they're paid back with a hundred million dollars annually and forever. It's just not the right kind of reform."
But supporters of the increase say without Prop 204, Arizona education will be hit hard.
The TUSD school board is listening to public comment on closing 30 schools that may have to shut their doors without this sales tax increase.
And Sunnyside School District Board Member Daniel Hernandez tells KGUN9 -- without prop 204, they may have to get rid of all day kindergarten.
Which is why supporter Ann-Eve Pedersen says Prop 204 was crafted by parents, not politicians.
"Prop 204 is something really positive that the voters of Arizona want to do and that we can do, not only for our kids but also for everybody out there who needs a good job," she says. "We need good companies to come to the state of Arizona and not just turn and run away after they see our lack of investment in education."