Thursday, October 23, 2008

Arizona Proposition 105

Innovative ways to restrain the state are always interesting and always a good idea, provided that they actually do restrain the state. Proposition 13 of California was such a one, restricting the ability of governments in California from raising the property taxes.

Arizona is set to vote on another way of restraining the state by restraining taxation, Proposition 105.

The proposition requires that any tax increase, in order to pass, gain a true majority in the polls. A true majority is a majority of all registered voters, not just those that show up to the polls.

This means that unless a majority of the voters show up at all, tax increases will fail. This means that if a majority does show up, and a majority of that majority votes for the tax increase, it does not mean it will pass because 50% of 50% is 25%, which is a minority of the voters.

Critics of this measure decry this as a way to count the votes of those who did not vote, because there is truth to the argument that any absent vote counts against the measure. The argument is that the state is unable to determine the true intent of those who do not vote, and therefore should not be able to count them in favor or against any tax increase.

The critics acknowledge that raising taxes via ballot initiatives, a popular method among state legislatures that do not want to take responsibility for tax increases, will be much harder.

And that is good. That is why 105 should pass.

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