A committee sponsored by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce today filed a court challenge against the Invest In Ed ballot initiative. The complaint claims that the petition was false and misleading and that petition circulators did not properly indicate whether they were being paid to gather signatures.
Because the deadline to file a court challenge against initiative circulators passed last Thursday, the Complaint by Arizonans for Great Schools and a Strong Economy - which lists its sponsoring organization as the Arizona Chamber of Commerce - focuses on the language presented on the face of the petitions.
The group makes two allegations that it believes warrants striking the initiative from the November ballot. First, that Invest In Ed does not disclose that its measure would repeal a law regarding indexing of tax brackets, and that all Arizona taxpayers will thus see a tax increase. Second, AGSSE notes that the initiative description states that tax rates would increase by 3.46% and 4.46% on high income-earners top tax brackets when it should have stated the percentage of the increase (76.21% and 98.24%).
The Chair of the challenging group, Jaime Molera, states that "The drafters of this initiative were either sloppy or deceptive.”
The Complaint also challenges the petition sheets on the basis that they were pre-printed with a check mark indicating that the circulator of that sheet was either "paid" or "volunteer". With new statutes changing how paid petition circulators may be compensated, the Secretary of State's Office issued some guidance on how those suddenly-confusing boxes should be handled.
(Arizona's Politics is seeking comment from the initiative backers, and will update as available.)
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