In November of 2000, Arizonans voted for Prop. 301 to fund education in Arizona with a .6 cent sales tax for 20 years.
Championed by Governor Jane Dee Hull, Prop.301, (A.K.A “Education 2000”) was described to the voters by Arizona Legislative Council like this:
Proposition 301 provides for: 1. An increase of six-tenths of one per cent in the rate of state transaction privilege (sales) tax, and an increase of six-tenths of one per cent in the state use tax for twenty years. An increase of six-tenths of one per cent changes the state’s current rate from 5.0% to 5.6%. This equates to an increase of 12% to the state’s rate. If Proposition 301 passes, state general fund expenditures would be an additional $94.5 million in 2002, increasing annually thereafter. These additional expenditures would not be paid for from the increase in the sales tax.
The uses of the new revenue are for the following purposes:(a) To authorize and pay for issuance of up to $800 million of new school improvement revenue bonds to correct existing deficiencies in school buildings. At 6% interest total principal and debt service will be approximately $1.4 billion over the next 20 years. (b) For universities to invest in technology and research-based initiatives. (sic. added emphasis) (c) For community college districts to invest in workforce development programs. (d) For community colleges that are owned, operated or chartered by an Indian tribe for workforce development and job training. (e) For distribution to the state department of education for the phase-in of five additional school days and associated teacher salary increases resulting from an increased number of school days. (f) For distribution to the state department of education for school safety and character education. (g) For distribution to the state department of education for: (1) Developing a system to measure school performance based on student achievement, including student performance on the AIMS test. (2) Developing a statewide computerized database of information on individual students including student attendance and academic performance. Data items collected on individual students will be developed at the discretion of the Department of Education. (h) For distribution to the failing schools tutoring fund. (i) For reimbursement of the state general fund for the cost of income tax credits in mitigation of increased transaction privilege and use taxes for families with an annual income of less than $25,000 and individuals with an annual income of less than $12,500. (j) For increases in teacher base level compensation, teacher compensation based on performance, and maintenance and operation purposes. 2. Automatic inflation adjustments in the state aid to education base level or other components of a school district’s revenue control limit.3. The inclusion of school district excess utility costs within the revenue control limit, beginning in fiscal year 2009-2010.4. A limitation on the school district qualifying tax rates and the county equalization assistance for education tax rate.
On March 26, 2018, Governor Douglas A. Ducey was joined in his office by former Arizona Governor Jane Hull and both Democratic and Republican lawmakers, to sign SB 1390, bipartisan legislation to extend Prop 301 for another 20 years. The legislation, sponsored by Senator Kate Brophy-McGee and Representative Doug Coleman, protects a $667 million a year funding stream to Arizona schools.
Prop 301 is a voter-approved initiative passed in 2000 and championed by then Governor Hull. It provides million of dollars annually in education funding. It was set to expire in 2021, and this legislation extends it to 2041, providing certainty to Arizona schools.