Economist: Arizona leaders could phase out income tax

Nov 4, 2015, 5:45 AM | Updated: 8:41 am

PHOENIX — Arizona could be poised to become the 10th state to eliminate personal income taxes.

Economists in Arizona have stated that major tax reforms are inevitable and likely going to come soon.

“The big picture question is whether there is a political will to actually make a commitment to, in six or seven years, have the income tax come down to zero,” Stephen Slivinski, senior research fellow at the Center for the Study of Economic Liberty at Arizona State University said.

Slivinski said he believes the current administration does have the will to pass income tax reform. With Gov. Doug Ducey in office and several fiscal conservatives controlling the state legislature, the economic researcher said the political stars have aligned but it will still be challenging.

“Finding a way of transitioning to a system that relies more on the sales tax and phasing down the income tax over a period of six or seven years is going to require probably some pretty hard decisions,” he said.

He expects voters could see lawmakers pass legislation that moves our state closer to eliminating personal income taxes as early as the 2016 legislative session.

“You could (eliminate income taxes) if you phase it out over time,” Slivinski said. “I think the problem is making sure that you are getting people acclimated to knowing it won’t be around in six or seven years and also getting the state budget balanced.”

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Economist: Arizona leaders could phase out income tax