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>

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.

Most Arizonans probably think the state’s budget problems were solved with Proposition 100, the 18 percent sales tax increase approved in May 2010. However, if Arizona’s voters fail to approve two more budget-related proposals during the Nov. 2 general election, the Legislature will have to move swiftly on additional spending reductions.

Oro Valley's recent decision to yield its status as Arizona's subsidy capital didn't come a moment too soon. The first report for two sales-tax rebate subsidies awarded for Oracle Crossings Center and Steam Pump Village are in, and the results are predictable.

Grover Norquist is the president of Americans for Tax Reform and a leading anti-tax activist. Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate and a confirmed lefty. The two don't agree on much, but they are joining forces in support of a cause quickly gaining traction around the country: transparency, the notion that citizens are entitled to know how government spends their money.

With a $600 million general fund shortfall - almost 6 percent of the general fund budget - some Arizonans might be tempted with a tax increase. After all, the state recently enjoyed a tax cut. Arizona is a low-tax state, right?

Not exactly.­ It is true that Arizona's state and local tax burden is below the national average, ranking 31st highest among the states this year according to the Tax Foundation. Still, Arizona's governments take 10.3 percent of Arizonans' income.

Contact: Lucy Caldwell, (602) 633-8986

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 

Phoenix, AZ—Every Arizona household’s debt is getting bigger—but most people don’t even know they owe. In Arizona, every man, woman and child owes state and local governments more than $7,500 for bills ranging from sports stadiums to parking garages.

When government revenues drop during economic downturns, there are only three choices government officials have at the state and local levels. They cannot print money so they are left with reducing spending, raising taxes, or borrowing. Raising taxes is the worst option, with borrowing a close second.

With all of the scrambling at the Capitol to finalize a budget before the clock ran out on the fiscal year last night, one particularly good idea bubbled up out of the morass­--converting Arizona's income tax from a graduated system to a 2.8 percent flat tax by 2012.

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