A related story which I'd really like to see Phoenix New Times (and others) cover is the way that Arizona's cowardly legislature has tried to raise revenues by encouraging the state's regulatory and other agencies to adopt steep fee increases which are, in effect, huge tax increases on the working and middle classes. These fees affect both child care and elder care. The current cost of a three year child care facility licensing fee is $150; under current proposals, that will rise to greater than $13,000 for child care centers with more than 100 or so children in their care. Prior to this, California was the most expensive state, charging about $3,000 for a similar three-year license.
Fiscal conservatives are always complaining about such things as the minimum wage, claiming that businesses will cut jobs and services and/or pass increased costs on to the consumer.
But by their own logic, this and similar fee rises amounts to one of the biggest backdoor, hidden tax increases on Arizona families in the history of the state. Nobody gets to vote on it, and nobody is held politically accountable for it, since it comes from changes to agency rules permitted by the legislature rather than directly from new tax laws. Once again, Arizona's legislature is protecting their real constituency -- corporate fat cats and the wealthy -- from tax increases they could easily afford, by increasing the burden on the backs of the little guy.