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The Following is a Press Release Issued by Citizens Against Prop 417, the Grassroots Committee Opposed to the Pinal County Transportation Tax Increase:

Casa Grande, AZ (October 30th)–In their effort to pass an illegal, unnecessary tax hike in Pinal County, the backers of Prop. 417 have raised $200,000 dollars from developers, lawyers, construction companies and auto dealers based in Maricopa County.  To date the special interest funded “yes” campaign has outspent the opposition 30 to 1.

“It’s not surprising that well-funded special interests from Maricopa County want to raise our taxes. Many of these companies are going to profit immensely from Prop 417 while we are stuck paying the bill.” said Harold Vangilder, Casa Grande Resident and Chairman of Citizens against Prop 417.

According to their campaign finance report filed October 15th, the “New Roads and Freeways before it’s too late” committee raised 95% of their campaign war chest from Phoenix area special interests. Another $10,000 came from Texas. Less than 1% of the money raised in support of Prop 417 came from Pinal County.

“This entire transportation plan is bought and paid for by Phoenix area developers and lawyers.” Said Richard Brinkley, SaddleBrooke resident and Treasurer of Citizens against Prop 417. “Why should we pay for a tax hike that benefits them?”

In addition to Prop 417 being a Maricopa county funded scheme, all of the vendors used for the campaign are based outside Pinal County. Not a single person living in Pinal County was utilized in their campaign spending spree.

Opposition to Prop 417 has been growing rapidly over the last several weeks as Pinal residents learn more about the $640 Million tax increase. Not only is the current transportation tax being wasted and abused, but the County has been notified by a non-profit watchdog organization that Prop 417 is illegally drafted and will be heading to court if it passes.

“The County continues to ignore the legal issues associated with Prop 417, and now we find out that the entire campaign is being funded by outside interests that won’t even have to pay the tax.” Said Peggy Knowles, Pinal County resident and former President of the Republican Women of Pinal County. “Their hypocrisy and arrogance is unbelievable.”

The campaign finance report for “New Roads and Freeways before it’s too late” can be viewed by clicking HERE.

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Paid for by Citizens Against Prop 417. Not Authorized by any Candidate or Candidate Campaign Committee

Prescott is at a crossroads.  Due to a crippling pension debt that has the city staring at possible bankruptcy in the next decade, the voters of Prescott will have an important decision to make in the upcoming election for Mayor.

Add in critical issues surrounding water and job crushing regulations,  the decisions made by voters today will determine whether Prescott continues to grow and prosper for years to come, or begins down a path of financial and economic turmoil.

With two candidates remaining on the ballot following the August election, it is clear that  Councilwoman Jean Wilcox would be the WRONG choice for Prescott Mayor.

Jean Wilcox has been a dedicated tax-and-spend politician from her first moments in office.  She has publicly supported increases in the property tax, gas tax and a water tax. It’s hard to find a tax Wilcox does not want to raise.

Since being elected to Council in 2014, Wilcox has been beating the drum to raise taxes at every turn.  The first tax increase she pushed for was an increase to the City’s sales tax in June of 2014.  She had barely taken office but it did not take long for her to be convinced that increasing taxes was the only option for the city.

Wilcox then voted in June of 2014 to raise Prescott taxpayers’ property taxes. While casting her vote, Wilcox arrogantly stated that she was disappointed that they were “stuck” with Arizona’s voter enacted constitutional limitations on how high property taxes could go.  Just two years later Wilcox voted again to raise property taxes.

After raising property taxes, Wilcox began pushing the council to increase water rates to pursue her environmentalist agenda and subsidize various crony capitalist pet projects.  When it comes to municipal water service, taxpayers should have 100 percent confidence that water rates are based solely on the cost of providing the service. Water bills shouldn’t include extra taxes and fees to pay for special interest projects, which is exactly what Jean Wilcox wanted to do.

Jean Wilcox used her position on the council to work around these important protections for rate payers.  Wilcox even entertained the idea that higher water fees could be cycled into select industries Jean Wilcox liked. In other words, she wanted to raise water rates in order to provide a few politically-connected commercial users with a subsidy.

What is even more telling of Jean Wilcox’s character is how she responded when voters didn’t agree with her high tax mentality.  Two years ago, Councilwoman Wilcox pushed to roll a series of tax increases for open space, pension funding and street improvements into one package. The purpose of this maneuver was to increase the chances that her favored tax increase—more money for open space—would pass.

She failed in this endeavor to log roll the measures and the triple tax proposition went to the ballot as three separate proposals.  After voters rejected two of the three measures, Wilcox expressed her disgust for taxpayers, stating those who did not vote for the tax were duped and that they “don’t understand that paying this tax will benefit the whole community.”

Just as startling as her support for higher taxes, Jean Wilcox has also been a staunch advocate for more gun control. At a council hearing last July, Wilcox stated that any discussions related to guns is really part of a “much bigger problem” that involves too little gun control.  It is not clear what gun restrictions  Wilcox would like to implement in the City of Prescott, but it is in voters best interest not to find out.

Don’t let Prescott fall into the trap of higher taxes, regulations and more gun control. Vote against Jean Wilcox for Mayor.

Goldwater Letter to Pinal County



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The Arizona Free Enterprise Club is a free market policy and advocacy group dedicated to promoting a strong and vibrant Arizona economy.