Arizona college tax backers cry foul after Andy Biggs hyperlinks their funding to PPP loans –

Arizona college tax backers cry foul after Andy Biggs hyperlinks their funding to PPP loans

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In an Oct. 6 letter supplied completely to Fox Information, Biggs instructed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Small Enterprise Administration chief Jovita Carranza he was “alarmed” to be taught from constituents that an Oregon-based non-profit, Stand for Kids, was “a serious recipient of between $1-2 million” in Paycheck Safety Program (PPP) funding from final spring’s CARES Act.

The group contributed properly over $3 million within the second quarter of 2020 to advocate for an Arizona poll initiative, Proposition 208, that might increase state earnings taxes to fund public training, Biggs wrote, asking the company heads to assessment the reviews.


“I’m disturbed {that a} nonprofit seemingly took benefit of a program designed to assist employers meet fundamental payroll wants with a view to extravagantly fund a extremely charged advocacy effort,” he continued.

Biggs Letter to Mnuchin and Carranza Re PPP and Stand for Kids 10 6 2020 by JuliaMusto on Scribd

Stand for Kids has vehemently denied that any cash from PPP loans has been used for its assist of Prop 208, noting that its neighborhood applications and lobbying efforts are dealt with by separate organizations with comparable names.

Stand for Kids Management Middle Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity that devotes its assets to instructional actions. Such organizations, to which donations are tax-deductible, are strictly prohibited from participating in any political exercise for or in opposition to candidates for public workplace.

Alternatively, Stand for Kids Inc. is a 501(c)(4) group that engages in political actions together with lobbying. Its contributions aren’t tax-deductible.

Stand for Kids Inc. defined in an Oct. 1 assertion that it had not utilized for a PPP mortgage, although the charity had obtained one.

Stand for Kids Inc. Arizona Government Director Rebecca Gau instructed Fox Information that whereas the organizations share some workers members, they’ve separate boards with firewalls between them. Contributions aren’t shared between teams, she stated.

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz. (Picture By Invoice Clark/CQ Roll Name)

Stand for Kids Inc. joined the combat for training funding through the 2018 “Purple for Ed” motion, however its work supporting the act was upended when a state Supreme Courtroom ruling kicked Prop 208 off the poll at the moment.

This yr, the group labored with stakeholders to plan one thing “all people may assist” and launched signature-gathering in February.

Gau stated that Biggs was coming after the non-profit “as a result of lobbyists instructed him to.” 

“That is their tactic proper now,” she stated. “As an alternative of discussing the precise points actually, they’re making these ridiculous, completely false claims and making an attempt to gin up curiosity in a narrative that’s not a narrative.”


Previous to her position at Stand for Kids, Gau served as director of the Governor’s Workplace of Schooling Innovation the place she launched and led state efforts to implement former Republican Governor Jan Brewer’s Schooling Reform Plan. Her two youngsters had been educated in Arizona public colleges.

Gau highlighted her group’s roots within the Arizona neighborhood, with 11 years of engagement within the Phoenix space and assist from revered native foundations.

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“Stand [for Children] is targeted on guaranteeing all college students obtain a top quality, related training, particularly these whose boundless potential is ignored and under-tapped due to their pores and skin coloration, ZIP code, first language, or incapacity,” she wrote.

The group turned concerned with Prop 208 “after years of frustration over the funding cuts to training in our state,” she stated. 

If accredited by voters, the measure — producing an additional $940 million a yr — would levy an extra 3.5% earnings tax surcharge on Arizona taxpayers with taxable earnings over $250,000, or over $500,000 for taxpayers who’re submitting joint returns.


Tax hikes can be positioned on the highest 1% of earners within the state, and a “sure” vote would imply elevating the most earnings tax fee for prime earners to eight%.

Proponents of the poll measure, or the Spend money on Schooling Political Motion Committee’s “Spend money on Ed” Act, need the extra income to go towards elevated pay for lecturers in addition to classroom and scholar assist and the addition of profession and technical education schemes.

“I’m very upset that Congressman Biggs has blindly picked up the opposition marketing campaign’s determined lies about Stand for Kids,” Gau stated. 

Based on the Arizona Secretary of State’s election fund’s portal, the Spend money on Schooling PAC has obtained over $4.67 million in contributions.

Prop 208 is co-sponsored by “Spend money on Ed” chairperson and highschool instructor Amber Gould, a lot of the state’s Democratic state legislators, and State Faculty Superintendent Kathy Hoffman, who can be a Democrat, in accordance with 12 Information.

Its critics embrace Molera Alvarez LLC and Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, who argue Prop 208 would hurt Arizonans, not enhance training.

Opposition teams declare that Prop 208 doesn’t assure funding would go towards elevating instructor salaries as a result of an expanded definition of who’s deemed a instructor would supply loopholes for directors to pocket the cash.

NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia said teachers, mostly women, have picked up the slack by providing resources for classrooms for too long.

NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia stated lecturers, principally girls, have picked up the slack by offering assets for lecture rooms for too lengthy.
(AP Picture/Ross D. Franklin)

The “Sure on 208” camp retorts that the state’s current definition of a instructor is simply too slim, stating that colleges will probably be topic to the identical accountability measures they’re now.

A key a part of the dissent in opposition to Prop 208 is that the measure will damage small enterprise house owners by inserting an onerous tax on them. Opponents estimate that fifty% of these affected by the tax are small enterprise house owners.

“Spend money on Ed” supporters unequivocally deny that, stating that a surcharge is not calculated till deductions are factored in. 

Based on the U.S. Small Enterprise Administration, the median earnings for self-employed people is about $50,000.

The impartial Joint Legislative Funds Committee estimates the common tax improve for these making $250,000 to $499,999 can be $120, the common improve for these making $500,000 to $999,999 can be $5,549 and the rise for these reporting earnings of $1 million to $4 million can be $40,287, in accordance with an evaluation by The Arizona Republic.

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Gau instructed Fox Information she had carried out her personal evaluation in accordance with the research and located that 99.95% of Prop 208 {dollars} “will go precisely the place supposed” to assist lecturers, assist workers and mentorship applications.


The amount of cash that is flowed into training in Arizona since 2018’s “Purple for Ed” demonstrations is critical. In its 2020 price range, the state spent $6.5 billion on training, in contrast with $5.3 billion two years in the past.

Nevertheless, not each instructor obtained a 20% increase promised by Ducey’s phased “20×2020” plan as a result of allocating the cash was left as much as college districts and constitution colleges.

Julia Musto is a reporter for Fox Information Digital. You could find her on Twitter at @JuliaElenaMusto.


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