Leaders at the Arizona Board of Regents meeting are talking about how the two US senators from Arizona have said the sales tax initiative is foolish.
Prop. 100 is the proposed 1-cent sales tax that's on the ballot to help stabilize the state budget crisis. So what if it fails?
University of Arizona president Robert Shelton said the universities would face a further 10-12 percent budget cut from the state legislature. For the UA, that's $40 million on top of $100 million in cuts in the past two years.
To handle a cut that size, the UA would cut 200 jobs to save $15 million and it would cut $20 million out of its $115 million spending on student financial aid.
Regent Anne Mariucci said that if the sales tax initiative should fail, the universities won't be able to just hike tuition and fees to fill the hole. There will have to be more efficiency, she said.
Regent Dennis DeConcini said it looks like the sales tax initiative likely will fail, the state will deeply cut the university budgets and students will have to pay another emergency surcharge. (This year's emergency surcharge was $766 for in-state students and $966 for out-of-state students.)
Without the sales tax increase "I think we're looking down the road at disaster," said Regent Bob McLendon.
There is also the question of whether the UA would lost the $25 million in federal stimulus money it is expecting next year. That's because the stimulus dollars came with the stipulation that the state maintain its level of support for education. Further cuts would violate that.
This year, the UA used some stimulus money to avoid furloughs.