Gov. Brewer increases taxes with stroke of veto pen

Arizona’s Gov. Jan Brewer has just selectively vetoed major tax and spending reductions sent to her by the Arizona legislature last month. By her actions today, Arizonans will pay nearly one-third of a billion dollars in additional taxes annually to state government. While this will have a negative impact on our economic recovery, the story becomes even more convoluted.

In addition, she has myopically increased state government spending by nearly the same amount annually. Taking that action in the midst of a recession makes little sense. For a “conservative Republican” governor to do so flies in the face of fundamental Republican principles.

Gov. Brewer is quoted as saying this budget will allow the state “to weather the storm until the legislature reconvenes in January.”  

Here’s what the governor had to say on the subject, at her press conference today, peppering her brief remarks with the words “extreme” or extremists.”

Governor: We have a $4 billion deficit. Make the cuts.

32 Responses to Gov. Brewer increases taxes with stroke of veto pen

  1. John Q says:

    Can anyone say “tax and Spend”? A horrible day for conservative republicans, by any standard.

  2. Another LD11 PC says:

    First of all Brewer is not a conservative. Conservatives do not increase taxes and spending.

    The only “extremist” here is Brewer. The people, via their elected representatives, sent Brewer their desired budget multiple times. She is behaving like a 2-bit tin-pot despot, ignoring the will of the people so she can achieve her political agenda.

  3. Janelle says:

    It is interesting that the sum of the tax increases and the spending increases is almost identical to the proposed sales tax referral.

    I wonder how the G&G “champions” are today – lose the tax cuts, increase the spending, lose the reforms AND maintain the four billion deficit.

    The governor pulled the trigger that wounded all of us, but the serendipitous senators provided the weapon and ammunition.

  4. Sarka Scarpulla says:

    Unlike some of the elected legislature, Gov. Brewer has the cojones to make tough decisions. She demonstrates true leadership and has shown the will to make decisions that are in the interest of the citizens of Arizona rather than covering oneself in partisan politics.

    Rather than hide behind Washington lobbyist demigods or rigid idealism, Gov. Brewer has proven herself, yet again, to be true to her principles.

    Congratulate her, or better yet, join her. Give Arizona a future, not just a mortgaged shell.

    • Doc says:

      Photo Radar, which was & always be socialistic, & toll roads? Nice…yup, that’s true leadership. Those two items, among a big pile of others, were driven by special interest lobbyists from insurance corporations & Redflex. That’s not cojones…that’s CA$H, baby, not leadership!

      And should we congratulate her on mortgaging our own capitol by selling it, then leasing back “the shell” from the new owners?

      I’ll congratulate her when she leaves the building.

      • Sarka Scarpulla says:

        Nice try Doc, that was the GOP Legislature that put photo radar in 2 sessions. Not Brewer.

      • Doc says:

        Brewer signed off on SB1320 in early July…in that bill, sponsored by LD12 Senator J. Nelson, was POINTS for CDL Holders flashed by scameras…and Municipal Toll Roads…to take effect Oct. 1st, 2009.

        This was financed-in part-for Brewer & Nelson by the scamera lobbyists & insurance lobbyists.

        So, my mistake. She just Enhanced a socialistic activity, originally shoved down the citizens throats by Ms. Napolitano.

        Selling the capitol then leasing it back…”the equivilant of a payday loan”…is not the correct thing to do. Payday loans are dangerous, using our capitol buildings as collateral is wrong.

    • Sarka Scarpulla says:

      Oppps, sorry. The $735 million mortgaging is the backbone of the GOP plan to even come close to the Constitutional mandate to balance a budget that’s not. I see it as a triple net gimmick that virtually exhausts the asset side of our balance sheet for 20 years.

      It’s the political equivalent of a payday loan. Take a note out in the middle of an overbuilt built commercial market. Sweet!

  5. Hunter says:

    Gorman and Gould should have probably voted for the budget they opposed because of the tax referral, but EITHER side could have stepped back and accepted the other side’s conditions which would have been better than what we have now.

    Jan Brewer is at least as much at fault as Gorman and Gould. At this point, Brewer should have accepted her loss and done the right thing by going along with the legislature. Most of the legislators had to have their arms twisted by Brewer’s veto threats in order to support the sales tax referral. It’s not like there was enthusiastic support for it among the other Republican legislators.

    By being foolishly contentious about the sales tax referral, Brewer is fundamentally responsible for creating this problem. She would prefer a bad budget with tax increases to the legislator’s budget without her tax referral.

  6. Kathy says:

    Brewer is following in the footsteps of tax & spend Dems. NO to re-election!

  7. Janelle says:


    The governor was ultimately wrong in her actions and the people should hold her accountable. I just believe that the ones that participated in setting up this scenario should also be remembered.

  8. DeAnn says:

    Governor Brewer sounds like a democrat. First answer to everything is raise taxes. Sad.

  9. sherriaz says:

    The Legislature should immediately introduce a bill to undo the increase in property tax ( I think they could easily override a veto from Brewer )and address the other concerns. Raising personal property taxes as well as business property taxes is ludicrous right now.

    I guess Governor Brewer had made up her mind that she won’t be seeking re-election. Should she be foolish enough to try, I’m sure the people of Arizona will make it crystal clear to her.

  10. Joe Evans says:

    The veto is very disappointing. Although Brewer didn’t get her tax hike, it appears we will all still be paying through the nose! The best way to get the Arizona economy back in gear is to let the people be able to keep enough of their own money to spend,

  11. Margaret Sullivan says:

    Who are the “extremists?” Would those be the legislators who resisted the tax increase? If so, they get a “bravo’ from me.

  12. Bill Kunze says:

    Governor Brewer, One word:

  13. Restore Integrity says:

    70 percent of voters believe the government should provide LESS SERVICES and have LOWER TAXES. 88 percent of Republicans believe the same. 78 percent of independents and even 48 percent of Democratic voters believe the government should provide LESS SERVICES and levy LOWER TAXES.

    And what does Governor Brewer do? Well, with a couple swipes of her pen, she INCREASES SPENDING and effectively enacts the largest PROPERTY TAX INCREASE in Arizona history. That is spitting in the face of the people. And she has the audacity to continue to whine about the Brewer $3 billion risky TAX INCREASE plan and blame “extremists” in both parties for her not getting her way?

    The only extremist in this picture is Governor Brewer. Senator Pamela Gorman was right to oppose the $3 billion tax increase on working families at any time much less in the middle of a recession. Governor Brewer was wrong to veto the property tax cut passed by the Legislature. Senators Gorman, Gould, Waring … and Representatives Crump and Biggs were right to oppose the Governor’s tax increase and push for more spending cuts. I wish we had more legislators like them in the capitol.

    It’s time for Jan Brewer to go. She’s even to the left of 48 percent of Democratic voters and is bowing before the teachers union … which will never support her anyway. We need a new Governor and preferably one with some advisors that understand the first thing about politics. These politically tone-deaf people on the Governor’s team have done irreparable damage to the Republican “brand” in Arizona.

  14. Janelle says:

    Way to go Margaret,

    By their opposing a referral of a temporary sales tax so the voters could say Heck NO!, everyone just got a permanent tax increase PLUS the elimination of spending cuts and reforms.

    You must like bigger government, because that is what we all just got – without our having a vote.

  15. papatodd says:

    Jan is just another rino. I’m not surprised by this move in the least. There are a few states in the US that actually run in the black. Most are run by REAL republican govs. Those governors are butter, we have margarine.

  16. Night Owl says:

    Be careful what you wish for. Remember how happy we were to see Napolitano leave? Without question, Brewer is an improvement. I place a lot of the blame for her current disconnect on her inner circle of advisors.

  17. Prop 13 Arizona says:

    We can get rid of the State Equalization Tax.

    Limit property taxes

  18. Janelle says:


    At least get the numbers right. The REFERRAl was not an automatic tax increase – the voters would have killed it just as they did in the much more liberal California in spite of a 30 million dollar campaign for passage. In the wonderful world of oz, if the voters in this situation would have voted to give more money to the government – what a joke – it would have been capped at 2.2 billion over a mandated masimum time period of three years.

    In return the taxpayers would have received a guaranteed tax reduction in property taxes of over $350 million a year forever, PLUS a $1.2 billion in reduced baseline spending that would have continued into the forseeable future, PLUS the taxpayers would have received another $400 to $500 million annually in income and property tax cuts, PLUS we would have given school districts the authority to hire and retain teachers based on competency instead of longevity, PLUS we would have been in compliance with requirements that would have allowed the first ever real attack on fraud and abuse in social services, PLUS we would have strengthened our state efforts to eliminate the provision of services to illegals with state tax money, PLUS . . There is not enough space to list all the benefits to taxpayers that have now been lost because some took a “I’m scared of the boogey man” fear and personal interest outlook.

    Brewer is 100% wrong, but she is not 100% responsible. Taking a lesson from Ronald Reagan would have been helpful for all, but it seems that egos got in the way – starting on the ninth floor and flooding onto the third and second floors of the legislature. The losers are all the rest of us.

  19. Sarka Scarpulla says:

    “Rino,” “Real Rep Govs” You’re kidding me, right?

    In one of the most conservative States in the republic, with dominant GOP control over over the legislature and a majority of the Governorships for the last 25 years, that’s the all you can say?

    The GOP in AZ is in the throes of incestuous cannibalism, just content with feeding on each other. Janelle gets it right, a few ideologues screwed the pooch for the rest of the Kool aid drinkers.

    To quote another:

    “And we have arrived at the perfect conservative utopia– low taxes (with a provision making it virtually impossible to raise them back– ever,) lean spending on schools and services even during good times.

    Eat up and enjoy conservatives– you broke it, you pay for it.”

    Ah, the Pottery Barn Rules. Sucks to reconcile that.

  20. Janelle says:


    Actually, it took ninety years to grow Arizona government spending to a level of 5.6 Billion. Janet and her co-conspirators grew it to over $10 Billion in her short term as governor. To paraphrase Bubba, Its the spending, stupid!

    If we had only grown government by thirty percent during her tenure, we would be the only state to have a surplus now, in spite of the recession.

    Liberal, socialist policies have ruined our state and our country. (Yes, some of it is bi-partisan, thanks to the actions of Jane Dee and the mushroom coalition.)

    • Sarka Scarpulla says:

      Agreed, but conservatives held a majority in both houses during the reign of Janet. Similar to this year, they could not coalesce into an effective bloc.

      Frustration and fury does not produce worthwhile public policy. Negotiation, compromise, inclusion and vision does.

      Is that it? Is this some kind of misogynistic passive aggressive power play? Cut off again from some perceived worthy goals by a better politician?

      • Janelle says:

        They did coalesce, but they only had 33 Republicans which was effectively trumped by the bloc voting of the Democrats bolstered by the veto pen of the Governor.

        Remember, having a majority is not enough to pass law if the governor vetoes their action, as shown again by the Brewer vetoes in early July.

      • Sarka Scarpulla says:

        Perhaps if they had tried to include the Dem’s, they may have found common ground that all could accept. Instead, they tried to jam an idealogical mishmash down everyone’s throat. Worse yet, they wasted 2 months of a special session for naught.

        I believe that was the game plan all along, kill the clock to force the Gov into a corner. All that did was to cost the all important property tax renewal.

        Oops, shoot, didn’t see that one coming. The one hammer Gov. Brewer had and she knocked that nail back into it’s hole.

        The GOP owns this mess lock, stock and barrel. It’s too bad the citizens of AZ pay the price for their myopic views.

      • Janelle says:

        Once again, you are simply wrong. Conservatives never held the majority in the legislature during the reign of Janet.

        Republicans did, conservatives did not. You seem knowledgeable, therefore, I am sure you know the difference.

      • Sarka Scarpulla says:

        Point taken. Dem’s do own a portion of this, they have been obstinate in their approach also.

        But given that most Dem’s in AZ are Blue Dogs at least, the failure to even attempt to try reconciliation is hard-headed at least. There are extremists on both sides, but only one party sets the agenda. They get the atta boys and blame.

        What Gov. Brewer has stated time and time again, is that there is a core level of Govt services that she refuses to damage.

        This is a very difficult time, one that begs for visionary thinking, openness to new ideas and critical thought on how to fix the fundamental weaknesses in the operations of State govt. It can’t be all taxes and fee based increases, nor can we slash to ’03 levels. Members on both sides of the aisle need to untrench and engage in meaningful dialog about those core services, how to best put sustainable funding mechanisms in place to support them, and to demand an effective, efficient govt.

        In my opinion, the majority party has not done so. In their unyielding to mollify the extremes of their party, they have lost over a serious part of core objectives. As Janelle clearly says above, 650 million of tax relief this year, compounded billions over the next several.

        That was achievable. Instead, they choose to chase the folly of Sen Harper, grandstanding cuts in state workers, cutting the only audit function we have over schools, a paltry $1m from a multi-agency auto theft council and some perverse attempt to wrest local control over a Tucson redevelopment. (which should be shut down btw) That’s leadership? That attempts to resolve this crisis we are in? I think not.

        The legislature needs to be critiqued, and will be, next fall. We need leaders whose concern is for Arizona, it’s present and future, and our citizens. Start there and I believe we will have better outcomes than the follies of the last 9 months.

  21. Doc says:

    Here’s yet another example of “representatives” simply ignoring their constituents:,2933,546905,00.html

    This sounds so familiar to me…

  22. sherriaz says:

    Prop13 Arizona:
    Using the 2003 property tax year would be a nightmare for people with 30-50% reductions in the value of their property since that time. My home is worth FAR less than what it was in 2003. This reality would need to be addressed for me to support this.

  23. waynesworld says:

    Where can we get COMMON SENSE? How do we let one person cause so much damage? No one in this state needs higher property taxes. What a way to grow economy. Mine have grown over 100% in last 3 years, real property value has dropped about 50% now I can look forward to higher increase. Why? so lying Arizona Teacher’s Unions can keep overcharging for “education” and we can take care of illegals with DES? I’m really sick of this incompetence. We can’t get truth to justify actions. When speaking with one school to principal and one teacher, I asked how much money she gets to run school. 14 million was response, asked how many students 1000. How much not the 7500 news reports but twice 14000. How can anyone budget correctly when they don’t use correct figures. We don’t know all factors but what we can see, we don’t need any more Brewer, she may want to campaign but might as well save effort, will do all I can to see she gets different job, maybe different state.

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