Green Valley Sahuarita Chamber of Commerce Supports Proposition 123
Green Valley, Arizona – The Green Valley Sahuarita Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, at their monthly Board Meeting this morning, agreed to support Proposition 123. If approved by voters, the measure would increase education funding by $3.5 billion over the course of 10 years by allocating money from the general fund and increasing annual distributions of the state land trust permanent funds to education.
Proposition 123 would require the legislature to increase funding by $1.4 billion from the general fund money with another $2 billion coming from increased annual distributions of the state land trust permanent funds to education. It would raise the distributions of these funds from 2.5 percent of the average value of the funds to 6.9 percent for the next 10 fiscal years.
Proposition 123 also takes away a lawsuit the State lost in regards to Proposition 301 passed by voters in 2000 which required mandated annual education funding increases. The current recession saw the Legislature cut state general fund spending from $11 billion annually to approximately $8 billion annually making it impossible for them to meet the requirements of Prop. 301 and prompting the lawsuit that has upheld by the Arizona Supreme Court.
“The current recession has had a huge impact on education funding in Arizona. School districts are having difficulty in retaining teachers and meeting their obligations to their students and parents. While not a permanent solution, Proposition 123 gives a needed boost to funding our schools without the burden to citizens, homeowners and businesses of another tax increase” said Jim DiGiacomo, President and CEO of the Green Valley Sahuarita Chamber of Commerce.
“Teachers need our support and this can have a direct and immediate impact,” said Mr. DiGiacomo. “We urge our members and every voter to support Proposition 123.”
Since the Arizona Territory was created by Congress in 1863, land was set aside as a revenue source to help fund public education. Upon statehood in 1912, the State Land Department became the official fiduciary of 10.9 million acres of “State Trust Lands”. The State Land Department controls a current inventory of over 9.2 million acres to benefit 14 beneficiaries, though nearly 90 percent of the Trust revenues go to the Common School Trust. The Department leases, trades and sells land on a best use case basis to enhance the Trust for its beneficiaries.