Tucson votes no on Prop 204 - Tucson News Now

Voters reject Prop 204

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Many Tucsonans may be surprised this morning that Proposition 204, the permanent one-cent sales tax to provide money for school programs, did not pass. 

This decision has an impact on the biggest school district in Tucson, and really the entire community. 

Proposition 204 could have helped TUSD, which is looking to fill a $17 million budget deficit.  The one-cent sales tax increase was going toward $105 million to educational programs in schools and universities.  This was money that was going to be off limits to lawmakers.

John Huppenthal, Arizona's Superintendent of Schools, said that it shows that voters support education, but many had concerns about the economy.

"They were concerned about a permanent tax and what that might do to the economy and the opportunity for jobs for students graduating from high school," Huppenthal said.

The permanent sales tax would have replaced the temporary tax that was approved in a 2010 vote. The temporary tax will now end in 2013. 

As for the biggest district in Tucson, TUSD spokeswoman Cara Rene says they are still moving forward with their master plan.  Since August, the district has been asking for public input on how they should handle issues like the budget.  Rene says they have received over 5,000 responses and will have another meeting on Thursday. 

Schedule and location of public workshops:  http://www.tusd1.org/contents/distinfo/masterplan/process.asp 

Read master plan scenarios: http://www.tusd1.org/contents/distinfo/masterplan/virtualoh.asp 

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