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.
Arizona's Senate Finance Committee could prevent a record property tax hike next year by making permanent the repeal of the County Equalization Tax (CET). That tax, if it goes back into effect, will cost Arizonans $225 million in new property taxes. Every Arizonan will pay, including homeowners, business owners, and renters through their rent payments.
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal cites Arizona as one of 10 states looking to raise taxes. If policymakers hope to grow our way out of this recession by luring businesses to Arizona, stories like that don't help.
It is well documented that government spending in Arizona has grown more rapidly than the population and inflation for quite some time.
Now the politicians blame you for failing to send in enough money to pay for their promises. They say there is a shortfall. They spend too much and this is a shortfall, a failure, on the part of working men and women in Arizona. It would be funny if it were not rude and insulting and plagiarized from the recent antics of politicians in Michigan and California and other failed states.
The dreaded T-word has now entered the conversation at the capitol with lawmakers suggesting putting a "temporary" tax increase on the ballot. Any such tax increase would be in addition to the mid-year restoration of the state's property tax. That increase alone, once estimated at $250 million, would be one of the biggest tax increases in state history.
The Arizona Taxpayer Protection Pledge is a commitment to the voters of Arizona that the signer will "oppose and vote against" any tax increase.
Sending a tax hike to the ballot is supporting the tax hike. Voting against sending a tax hike to the ballot is opposing the tax hike.
Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano delivered her 2008 State of the State Address on Monday and touched on a variety of topics including education, the economy, and public safety. But in a state where revenues have decreased from a high of 20 percent growth in 2006 to about 1.5 percent growth this year, there was no serious proposal to re-energize Arizona's economy.
Arizona's recent budget history looks a lot like a rollercoaster. During years with strong economic growth, policymakers allow spending to shoot up to unsustainably high levels. Then, during economic slowdowns, when tax revenues fall off, state spending goes crashing downward.
Arizona's budget really got out of control in 2006 and 2007, when the size of state government as a portion of the state economy exceeded 6.5 percent levels of spending not seen since the early 1990s.
Republican Governor Jan Brewer's plan to raise sales taxes in Arizona is a bad idea which promises to make a bad economic situation a whole lot worse. Tax increases are a death sentence for economic growth. In difficult times, the last thing government should do is take more money out of the pockets of hard-working, productive citizens.
Government should look in the mirror
With gas prices over $3 a gallon nationwide, some policymakers, Attorney General Terry Goddard among them, suggest the solution is to implement price-gouging laws. But the government might want to take a look at the man in the mirror first.
Government has done its fair share to push gas prices higher. Local, state and federal governments tack on 37.4 cents a gallon in taxes in Arizona alone.
It takes a mighty big wheelbarrow of money to buy bread in Zimbabwe today. To make things more convenient, Zimbabwe's government has decided to issue a new currency denomination for everyday use - the Z$100 trillion note (yes, that's right, trillion). Now, Zimbabweans need the wheelbarrow for the calculator needed to handle all those extra zeroes.