ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona Democrats want Ducey to stop trying to overturn new education tax

Mar 30, 2021, 4:15 AM
(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)...
(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

PHOENIX — Four Arizona Democrats have sent a letter to Gov. Doug Ducey urging him to halt efforts to fully or partially repeal a tax hike approved by voters last year to boost school funding.

Proposition 208, also known as the Invest in Ed initiative, imposes a 3.5% income tax surcharge on personal income for those who earn more than $250,000 and couples whose income exceeds $500,000 with payments on the tax now in effect being due beginning in April 2022.

The letter signed by Reps. Ruben Gallego, Raúl Grijalva, Greg Stanton and Ann Kirkpatrick said voiding Prop 208 would be in “contravention of the will of a majority of Arizonans who voted for its enactment.”

“A full or partial repeal would also devastate Arizona’s public schools, which have already struggled during this pandemic due in part to your administration’s refusal to provide sufficient relief to local education agencies,” the letter read.

“Proposition 208 is essential to allowing our public schools to recover and thrive.”

The initiative, approved by a difference of approximately 113,000 votes, will be used to hire and increase the salaries of teachers, nurses, counselors, classroom aides and bus drivers; along with expanding career and technical education programs in addition to mentoring and retention programs for new teachers.

Ducey, a strong opponent of the initiative, has vowed to see Prop 208’s tax canceled through the courts or the GOP-controlled state Legislature as he said the new initiative will make the state’s tax code uncompetitive.

“Prop 208 promised additional dollars to K-12 education. I had no problem with that at all,” Ducey said. “But what it also did is took our top tier tax rate from 4.5% to 8%. It was a 77% increase. That I have real issues with.”

An Arizona House committee last week advanced a measure in a party-line vote that has already passed the Senate which would allow successful business owners to avoid paying the income tax hike, which is estimated to cut a third or more of the $827 million the Prop 208 tax was expected to generate.

Proposed by Sen. J.D. Mesnard, a Republican from Chandler, SB1783, would create a workaround of the tax hike by setting up an optional new tax structure for businesses.

Owners would be allowed to pay personal income taxes on the profits they earn from the business, giving owners who make enough to be affected by the tax hike an option to pay a 4.5% tax rate, the same as before the 3.5% surcharge was imposed.

Wages that are not tied to business ownership would be unaffected.

The bill could come up for a vote in the House as soon as this week.

A challenge of the tax will also be heard by the state Supreme Court on April 20, where a majority of the justices were appointed by Ducey.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Getty Images Photo/Roberto Machado Noa)...
KTAR.com

Police investigate death of 45-year-old woman shot in Phoenix

Police are investigating the death of a woman who died from a gunshot wound in Phoenix Friday night.
1 day ago
FILE - In this Wednesday, May 27, 2020 file photo, Medical personnel adjust their personal protecti...
KTAR.com

Arizona reports 2,482 new COVID-19 cases, 9 more deaths Saturday

Arizona health officials on Saturday reported 2,482 new COVID-19 cases and nine additional deaths from the disease.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Woman dies after being struck by vehicle in Phoenix

An adult woman was killed after getting struck by a vehicle near the intersection of East McDowell Road and North 26th Street in Phoenix on Friday night.
1 day ago
(Facebook photo/City of Phoenix, AZ USA)...
KTAR.com

Phoenix adopts roadmap to cut emissions, reach net-zero goal by 2050

The city of Phoenix Tuesday approved a climate action plan with the goal of reaching net-zero by 2050 while also reducing 50% of emissions by 2030. 
1 day ago
(Facebook photo/Special Olympics Arizona)...
KTAR.com

Special Olympics Arizona to kick off fall games next weekend

More than 1,000 Special Olympics athletes across the state will head to the Valley next weekend to compete in the 2021 Fall Games presented by Casino Arizona.
1 day ago
(Facebook photo/Holiday Light Experience - Salt River Fields)...
KTAR.com

Tickets for Holiday Light Experience at Salt River Fields go on sale

People can begin buying their tickets now to the Holiday Light Experience at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale which is set to get underway in November.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
DISC DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
...
PNC Bank

How one organization supports early childhood literacy for the most vulnerable

Nearly two out of every three children in low-income communities don’t own a single children’s book, a fact that ultimately could have profound impacts even before entering kindergarten, according to Arizona nonprofit Southwest Human Development.
...
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
Arizona Democrats want Ducey to stop trying to overturn new education tax