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Arizona House to reconsider 2 rejected bills

PHOENIX — A proposal to reduce income taxes is one of two Republican bills
that will be reconsidered Tuesday after being voted down last week by the
Arizona House.

Legislators are scheduled to again vote on House bills 2465 by Rep. J.D.
Mesnard, R-Chandler, and 2541 by Rep. Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa.

The bill by Mesnard would reduce income taxes once the state is allowed to
collect Internet sales taxes. Democrats said the taxes already are owed, so the
change only closed a loophole.

The bill would require state tax authorities to determine how much in new sales
taxes were collected in online sales in the first year and reduce the next
year’s income tax rate by the same amount. Estimates of revenue from Internet
sales tax vary from $100 million to more than $700 million in additional state
and local sales tax dollars per year.

However, the proposed federal law that would allow states to collect Internet
sales taxes awaits action in the U.S. House. The U.S. Senate passed the bill,
known as the Marketplace Fairness Act, last year. It has support from business
groups and state governments.

Townsend’s bill would allow Arizona cities and towns to enter restricted
federal land without permission in emergencies.

Townsend said she brought back her measure because she thinks she can get the
votes needed this time around. Several members were absent when it first came up
March 4. The bill was defeated on a 28-27 vote. It lost support because House
attorneys said it was in conflict with federal law and likely unconstitutional.

Townsend said she was inspired by the battle between the city of Tombstone and
the federal government over access to repair its water supply system in the
Coronado National Forest. She said local authorities should have the right to go
in where needed without being granted approval first in cases of emergency.

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