Arizona Treasurer Who Opposed Prop 123 Calls Federal Ruling 'Bittersweet'

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 5:25pm
(Photo by Casey Kuhn - KJZZ)
Jeff DeWit is leaving the treasurer position to become the NASA CFO.

Arizona Treasurer Jeff DeWit is leaving his post to become NASA’s chief financial officer.

DeWit got emotional thanking his employees at a press conference Tuesday.

“I know the staff we have … you’re gonna make me cry … I know the staff we have and assembled are going to do a great job,” he said.

DeWit, who worked on President Donald Trump’s campaign, spoke about going to NASA and helping the administration.

The press conference came a day after a federal judge declared Proposition 123, which takes land grant money and distributes it to schools, illegal.

DeWit heavily opposed the proposition from the start.

“It’s a bittersweet moment," DeWit said. "I wish we could have convinced people back then before it was a big mess that it should never have taken off the ground and we could have fixed it.”

The proposition used land trust money to settle a school-funding lawsuit from 2015. Now, that $344 million might have to be repaid.

"You’re not gonna go to teachers say ‘give us back the money you were paid,’ right?" DeWit said. "Property taxes went up because of Prop 123, do you go back to those taxpayers and give them a refund on their taxes? There are so many moving parts in this now that going back and sorting this out is a big mess.”

DeWithis last day as treasurer is April 3.

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