Tax Reform

Americans are a hard-working bunch and should keep what they earn. Our ideas for tax reform reduce the burden of taxes while ensuring governments have the resources to focus on core responsibilities.

<p>Americans are a hard-working bunch and should keep what they earn. Our ideas for tax reform reduce the burden of taxes while ensuring governments have the resources to focus on core responsibilities. </p>

President Bush recently proposed eliminating the tax codes bias toward employer-provided health insurance. His plan provides a standard deduction of $15,000 for families who purchase health insurance, $7,500 for individuals. The more you think about it, the more sense it makes. Why shouldn't you get the same tax break your boss gets for purchasing health insurance?

Decades of experience have shown us that high taxes dampen economic growth. State policymakers hoping to encourage job growth are right to worry about their state’s tax load on the private sector.

Phoenix, AZ—Eliminating Arizona’s state income tax could put 20,000 people to work in the first year alone and business activity in the state could rise by an additional $419 million each year, finds a new Goldwater Institute policy report released Thursday.

As Chicago Mayor Rahm “the Godfather” Emanuel recently emphasized in hardnosed bargaining with teachers unions, there is typically no enforceable taxpayer backing for public pension funds.

Arizona’s constitutional drafters early in the 20th century were averse to public debt and to the tendency of government to use subsidies favor certain private interests. As a result, Arizona has a constitutional debt limit that limits state debt to $350,000—roughly $8 million in today’s dollars. But that limit is not effective at actually limiting debt. Today, state-level bonded indebtedness equals $13.7 billion. All levels of government in Arizona have outstanding debt in one form or another in the combined amount of at least $44 billion and possibly as high as $51 billion.

The state Senate passed a 2008 budget yesterday, but the state House had to put their budget vote on hold. Now what?

It would be in the best interest of Arizona for the House to approve their plan early next week and stop the Senate's runaway freight train of a budget.

Its the final days of the legislative session and the House and Senate must reconcile their budgets before they can send a final package to the Governor for her signature. Will tax cuts be on the table? That's now up to the leadership of Senate President Tim Bee, Majority Leader Thayer Verschoor, and Majority Whip John Huppenthal.

The biggest difference between the House and Senate budgets is the size of the tax cut.­ The House budget includes a tax cut of $62 million. The Senates is $7 million.

Yesterday the Arizona Federation of Taxpayers released a scorecard on local governments in Arizona, grading 563 local officials from around the state on tax and budget policy.

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