May 12, 2010 / Modified may 12, 2010 10 a.m.

Outcome of Sales Tax Vote Could Send Arizona Lawmakers Back to Work

If Arizona voters next week turn down a ballot question for an increase in the states sales tax, lawmakers would need to return to work to iron out some things.

Voters Tuesday, May 18, will be asked to approve Proposition 100, a one-percent, three-year sales tax increase. Governor Jan Brewer says she's confident the measure will pass, but she says there would have to be a special session of the Arizona Legislature if it doesn't.

Rejection of the tax increase automatically would trigger contingency spending cuts already included in the next state budget. However, the governor says lawmakers would have to meet in special session to approve legislation with detailed implementation steps. Brewer's Budget Director, John Arnold, says those steps would include making numerous changes in state law related to the contingency cuts, in such areas as transferring some state prisoners to county custody and shifting duties among state agencies.

Many school districts and university leaders across the state are urging voters to approve Proposition 100, or prepare for massive cuts to the already underfunded education system. Opponents says they don't trust state lawmakers, fearing they may raid current funding and replace it with the new tax money, having a net effect of no additional funds. They also say rejecting the tax would force the state to further trim its spending.

Watch AZPM Debate on Proposition 100:

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