Payson voters are receiving their ballots for Proposition 100.
While there is a significant amount of controversy over recent decisions made by the Payson Unified School Board, Proposition 100 goes far beyond providing essential funding for our schools. Before you decide that our elected officials have not done enough to cut state spending, look at the services they have already cut to the bone.
According to a recent article at azcentral.com, our legislators have cut $46.7 million for health care services; $23 million from the Department of Corrections (releasing up to 1,200 prisoners early, due to lack of funding); $22.4 million from the Department of Environmental Quality; $22.2 million from our state parks; $13 million from public safety; and $283.7 million from education. This was still not enough to balance our state budget.
I do not like additional taxes any more than anyone else does, but this is not just about a 1 cent sales tax increase. This is about the quality of life we have grown to enjoy and appreciate. It is about making sure our communities and homes are protected; we have access to the health services we need; that our roads and infrastructure remain intact; and yes, our school children receive the education they deserve.
Without the approval of Proposition 100, our school will not only be severely handicapped, but our police, fire, health and safety organizations will also be cut, putting our community at risk.
This increase will be automatically repealed at the end of three years and will provide not only for our schools, but for other essential services we rely on every day with the funding they need to stay afloat until we can turn around our economy and rebuild what has been lost.
I am asking that we put aside our differences and not just support our schools, but support the way of life we have come to enjoy and appreciate. Please mail in your yes vote for Proposition 100 today.