Sales Tax Initiative Backers Plan To Submit Signatures Today

Organizers of an petition drive to ask voters to extend the state’s one-cent sales tax are set to turn in more than a quarter-million signatures today—but whether voters will get a chance to approve the proposition on the November ballot remains to be seen.

There’s a wrinkle with the Quality Education and Jobs campaign effort: Official paperwork filed with the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office at the launch of the initiative’s campaign left off seven lines of text from the 774-line document, or a total of 152 words out of the 8,967-word law.

“We have a paperwork SNAFU,” says Ann-Eve Pedersen, chair of the Quality Education and Jobs campaign.

That’s led Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett to warn the campaign’s backers that he might reject the petitions. Even if Bennett concludes the petitions are OK, there’s likely to be a court challenge filed by opponents of the proposed sales tax.

Pedersen says she anticipates that the Arizona Supreme Court will have the final say on whether voters will get a chance to decide whether to approve the tax.

The Quality Education and Jobs campaign has retained Stanley Feldman, a former chief justice of the Arizona Supreme Court, for the upcoming legal fight.