Phoenix--Late last night the Arizona State Senate passed a budget to close the 2010 budget deficit without raising taxes. The budget deficit is projected to be between $3 and $4 billion. The budget plan includes $631 million in reductions to state agencies, $143 million in accounting tricks, $1 billion in one-time fund sweeps and other revenue sources, and uses $1.2 billion in federal money.
If this budget is adopted, state spending will be $500 million less than it was in 2007. The House is expected to vote on the budget today.
"No tax increase is good news for Arizona and will help our economic recovery," said Darcy Olsen, president and CEO of the Goldwater Institute.
The Governor has vowed to veto the Senate budget if it passes the House and is sent to her for approval. The Governor favors smaller budget cuts and a tax increase.
"The modest spending reductions in the Senate budget really amount to trimming the fat," said Ms. Olsen.
Complicating matters, the Governor and the Legislature don't agree on how big the 2010 deficit will be. The Governor says $4 billion, and the legislature says $3 billion. The Goldwater Institute has recommended that state finances be independently certified by the State Treasurer's office to provide lawmakers with an accurate figure upon which to base the budget.
The Goldwater Institute is a nonprofit public policy research and litigation organization whose work is made possible by the generosity of its supporters.