Vote no on Prop 204
On Sept. 18, Dave Safier gave an opinion “What you need to know about Proposition 204”. First, let’s remember that this temporary one-cent sales tax was to solve a state budgetary crisis caused by many factors including decreased revenues, a weakening economy, and previous spending excesses.
Well, the crisis is over, due to an improving economy, rising tax revenues and a more financially responsible administration. There is even a budget surplus of several hundred million dollars.
The main argument for this new, permanent tax is that the money will somehow solve most of our educational concerns. Just ask the taxpayers of New Jersey or Washington D.C. how they like paying nearly three times the amount per student that Arizonans do, with abysmal results. We all know it takes more than just money to create a quality education environment.
Currently Arizona has approximately the 40th highest state sales tax out of 50 states. This certainly contributes to more out-of-state purchases (with lower or no tax) as well as tax-free internet purchases.
High sales taxes are regressive and do hurt those with lower or fixed incomes. This particular measure is vague on how these funds are to be spent in education. It might be very easy for many of those who receive funding to promote “new” or wasteful programs, build fat bureaucracies and give lip-service to worthwhile programs. This “blank check” will also be available to those in higher education, road building and construction. We should not saddle ourselves with a permanent tax and pre-determined spending policy, which could have dire consequences in the future. We have a legislature to determine this, depending upon actual needs and circumstances. It is stated that this tax will cost an “average” family $70 to $100 per year. Let’s keep this money in our pockets while exercising some control over the state’s purse strings. Vote no on Prop 204.
Your not-so-friendly drugstore
Friendly Neighborhood Drug Store ? I Think Not! A few years ago, I entered the Walgreen’s on 1st and Tangerine to purchase Prilosec. To my amazement, it necessitated me locating a clerk to unlock the precious commodity. According to staff, it had a high potential for theft. I inquired at the time why they didn’t place it behind the cash register, negating the hassle of waiting for staff to initiate the lock and key escapade. Yet, another sign of the times, I thought, and accepted their policy.
This past Sunday, however, I found that Walgreen’s “new policy” had taken their Prilosec security measures to a whole new level. After finding staff and waiting for them to unlock the ‘over-the-counter’ medication, I was told staff would hold on to the Prilosec and I was to inform them when I completed my shopping, at which time they would bring it to the register for me to purchase.
Congratulations Walgreen’s. At 55 years old, I was well on my way to leaving this world having never experienced being treated as though I was untrustworthy. Perhaps not the most egregious act, but to those of us who live our lives making certain to give respect to all we meet, it comes pretty darn close. Is the potential threat of losing a few dollars really worth insulting the entire community?