PHOENIX – Gov. Doug Ducey’s hotline for red tape tips is gaining more complaints than suggestions.
Ducey promised to eliminate 500 regulations “that are standing in the way of job growth” by the end of the year, so he took his challenge to the people – or rather, the Internet. The governor set up Red Tape, an online service to crowd source recommendations from Arizona citizens on which regulations should be eliminated.
In the first weeks of the program, the most commonly complained about issues were taxes and different water-use regulations, particularly how they effect the rural areas of the state. This doesn’t represent the wants of the state as a whole, though: only a couple dozen Arizonans recommended anything at all.
Taxes, always the hot button topic in Arizona politics, were hot on the regulation rollback site.
Why? “Taxation is theft,” the entirety of one complaint reads.
Another complaint called for the elimination of the $25 excise tax refund and the $400 tax credit that Arizonans can give to schools or sports organizations.
One tax-related complaint wanted to streamline the system for mobile food vendors. “Just make it easy for mobile food, caterers and mobile product vendors to charge the tax,” one Arizonan complained. “Too much red tape,” she added.
Another common complaint focused on water-use regulations, particularly as it pertains to rural water use.
One complaint called for the 2012 IFC 507.1 regulation by the state fire marshal to be recalled because, as he wrote, “the elimination of this rule for Rural Arizona would allow large lot subdivisions to be developed that in some cases are miles from public or private water lines.”
The man who filed the complaint said recalling this regulation would be “life changing for people who want a rural lifestyle.”
This website received more oddball responses than anything else. Particularly, Arizonans took to the red tape site to complain about how our government works (or doesn’t).
“Perhaps the core of the problem is that the legislature creates enabling laws that empower unelected bureaucrats to create regulations with the ‘power of law.’ Would not a better solution be that this power be curtained and all such bureaucratic regulations be subject to review and approval by the legislature every period of years?” one writer asks.
“I doubt this counts as what you are calling ‘regulation,’” another starts and asks that the minimum wage hike not be considered. The minimum wage hike is not a regulation.
Finally, a personal favorite:
“The City Of Tempe will not allow me to sell hot dogs from a hot dog stand anywhere in the City of Tempe.”.
The governor’s office hasn’t moved forward on any of the complaints, but Daniel Scarpinato, the gubernatorial press aide, said they plan to take action on some this spring.
Christianna Silva is the Don Bolles Fellow covering the Legislature for Arizona Sonora News, a service provided by the school of journalism at the University of Arizona. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.