ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona Gov. Ducey’s $14.2 billion budget proposal includes tax credits, border funding

Jan 14, 2022, 4:00 PM | Updated: 4:07 pm

PHOENIX (AP) — Gov. Doug Ducey on Friday proposed a tax credit for Arizona’s working poor, the first time in his eight years of pushing tax cuts that he pitched a benefit targeted at the lowest-income taxpayers.

In his final budget proposal before leaving office, Ducey proposed a $14.2 billion spending plan that includes more corporate tax cuts as well as a new earned-income tax credit for people who work but earn low wages.

Ducey projects the state will start the fiscal year on July 1 with $2 billion in the bank because revenue has far outpaced expectations when the prior budget was approved last summer. He targets much of his new proposed spending on infrastructure, such as building repairs at prisons and water projects.

The Republican governor pledged upon taking office in 2015 to cut taxes every year he’s governor, and he’s kept his word so far. But his prior tax cut proposals have either been narrowly targeted to a specific group — like an end to taxation of veterans’ pensions — or have primarily benefited corporations and wealthy taxpayers.

His 5% earned-income tax credit proposal would benefit 572,000 taxpayers with an average benefit of $128 per year, according to Ducey’s aides. It would be open to taxpayers earning less than $50,000 a year.

Anti-poverty advocates have credited the federal earned-income tax credit as a big boon to low-wage workers, providing a lump sum of cash at tax-filing time. It’s generally enjoyed bipartisan support, with Democrats touting its benefits for the poor and Republicans promoting it as a reward for working.

Ducey set aside $58 million for a corporate tax cut but did not offer details. His aides said the exact plan would be worked out with lawmakers.

Ducey’s proposal is his opening pitch to lawmakers. He’ll negotiate a final spending plan with legislative leaders in the coming months.

Ducey also proposed giving raises to thousands of state workers, including troopers and correctional officers. He wants to cover the higher cost of transferring inmates to a private prison from a state-run facility in Florence, which he wants to close.

He proposed $50 million in new border spending, an unspecified portion of which to pay for a prison-style fence on private property at the border.

He also wants to spend $26 million to offer free tuition for graduates of an accelerated one-year training program for nurses at Creighton University’s new campus near Downtown Phoenix.

Ducey’s proposed new education spending includes nearly $120 million for two programs based on a school’s performance as measured by an A-F letter grade. In general, better-performing schools — which tend to serve wealthier families — would be eligible for larger grants. He’d also spend $20 million on transportation programs for parents who don’t send their child to their neighborhood school, a major boon for the school choice movement that Ducey has enthusiastically supported.

For higher education, he’d continue indefinitely $46 million in one-time funding approved last year for the state’s three universities. That money has boosted engineering at Arizona State University, health, mining, space and defense at University of Arizona and health care at Northern Arizona University.

Among his other proposals, Ducey would deposit $425 million in the rainy day fund and make the first of three deposits toward a $1 billion water infrastructure fund, a major proposal from his state of the state address on Monday. While he suggested in that address building a plant to turn sea water into drinking water, his actual proposal is much more generic.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

Hilda McGready...
KTAR.com

Silver Alert issued for 85-year-old woman who drove off from Arrowhead Mall in Glendale

A Silver Alert was issued Sunday for an 85-year-old woman with dementia who drove off from the Arrowhead Mall in Glendale, authorities said.
20 hours ago
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) walks to her office in the basement of the ...
KTAR.com

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from Jan. 21-23

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema being censured by the state’s Democratic party is among the biggest Arizona stories of the weekend.
20 hours ago
Barry Markson (Twitter photo/BarryMarkson1)...
Mike O'Neil/The Think Tank

Think Tank talks with practicing attorney and KTAR host Barry Markson

Practicing attorney and sometimes KTAR News 92.3 FM host Barry Markson joins this week's Think Tank to discuss his take on Biden’s recent speech and other topics.
20 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Wills Rice

Storm brings rain, strong wind gusts to metro Phoenix Saturday night

A storm rolled through metro Phoenix Saturday night, bringing rain and wind across the Valley.
20 hours ago
A Valley Metro Rail train drives through downtown on March 26, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. Despite fe...
KTAR.com

Phoenix receives $920K for 5-mile streetcar route development in Mesa

The city of Mesa on Friday received a $920,000 grant to manage the planning of a 5-mile streetcar route that would connect four activity centers within the municipality.
20 hours ago
(Phoenix Police Department Photo)...
KTAR.com

Phoenix police seek public’s help in identifying suspects who shot 2 teens in December

The Phoenix Police Department is seeking the public's assistance in identifying three suspects who shot two 15-year-old teens in December.
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Arizona State University

This is the best year to get your MBA

Getting a master’s degree is a major commitment of time, energy, and money, so returning to school — even if you’re thinking about a part-time program that allows you to keep working — is one of the biggest decisions of your career.
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 27: Wide receivers John Brown #12 and Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona C...
Arizona Department of Gaming

The most memorable games in Arizona sports history every fan needs to know

Sports teams in Arizona have seen their fair share of instant classic games, but there's a few that every fan needs to know.
(Facebook Photo/NHTSA)...
Sweet James

Upcoming holiday season is peak time for DUI arrests

The holiday season may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the most dangerous time of the year to be driving. That’s why it’s important to remember to call Sweet James Accident Attorneys if you’re injured or arrested because of a DUI accident.
Arizona Gov. Ducey’s $14.2 billion budget proposal includes tax credits, border funding