Prop 132 would require 60% supermajority to pass Arizona ballot measures that add tax
PHOENIX – Arizona’s Proposition 132 is a ballot measure about ballot measures.
Prop 132 asks voters if future initiatives or referendums that enact a tax should require a supermajority of at least 60% to pass instead of the current 50% threshold.
The Republican-led Legislature put the proposed constitutional amendment on the Nov. 8 ballot by passing a bill along party lines earlier this year.
Supporters say it would reduce the impact of special interest groups, while opponents say it’s an attempt by lawmakers to take power away from voters.
“We think this is pro-voter, pro-transparency and pro-taxpayer, most of all,” supporter Danny Seiden, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
Seiden said Prop 132 makes sense because it would bring the referendum process more in line with the Legislature, which needs a two-thirds majority to raise taxes.
“We’re banking on the fact … that people are tired of seeing initiatives on their ballot, time and time again, paid for by out-of-state special interest groups that are raising taxes on individuals and on businesses,” he said.
Will Humble, executive director of the Arizona Public Health Association, told KTAR News he is worried that the 60% threshold could prevent important public health policies from being enacted.
He cited the 2006 Smoke-Free Arizona Act, which he said is “probably the most popular public health-oriented voter initiative in the last 20 years.”
The law, which banned smoking in many enclosed public places and workplaces, passed with 55% of the vote, below the proposed supermajority.
“Prop 132, had it been in effect, would have applied to that proposition because it had a 2 cent per pack tax on cigarettes to pay for enforcement of the Smoke-Free Arizona Act,” Humble said.
Humble also said he sees Prop 132 as a continuation of state lawmakers’ efforts to make it harder to pass laws through the voter initiative process.
“They put some red tape into the petitions. They increased the standard of compliance that’s required,” he said. “So, the Legislature has done everything they possibly can to get rid of voter initiatives. …
“I trust the voters, and I’m going to vote no on this, for sure.”
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Colton Krolak contributed to this report.