While most of us were sleeping last night, the Arizona Senate passed Budget Reconciliation Bills on party lines to set the budget, cut taxes for all but the wealthiest to 2.5% by 2024, and prohibit teaching certain things about race, sex, and ethnicity. These bills also
- place a cap of 4.5% on how much the wealthiest pay in taxes; in effect, this totally undercuts Prop 208, which requires the wealthiest to pay a 3.5% surcharge on their adjusted income over $250,000 (single) or $500,000 (married) plus their regular taxes on their income. They will now pay the surcharge, but only 1% of what their regular taxes would have been.
- resurrect an expanded ESA voucher bill, which had been defeated earlier this year.
- limit the powers of the Secretary of State to conduct elections, also modifies election rules for audits and registering to vote.
Estimates are that nearly half of the money expected to be raised through Prop 208 will be cut through the cap on the highest earners taxes. $1.3 billion will be cut from the General Fund in the first year, which will grow to a$1.9 billion cut.
Arizona cannot afford these tax cuts or the other changes passed by one party in the Senate. This legislation will set Arizona back for decades. We have enough experience with “trickle down” economics over the past several decades to know that it doesn’t work. We don’t need Arizona to prove this once again.
The House will be voting on these bills tomorrow, Thursday, June 24; the legislation they pass has to be exactly as the Senate passed it. This gives us an opportunity to stop this process. We know that two Republican House members, Reps. Michelle Udall, R-Mesa,([email protected]) and Joel John, R-Buckeye ([email protected]), both teachers, opposed the expanded vouchers earlier in this session. We need to contact them to encourage them to stand fast. We must also contact our own representatives and others who opposed the flat tax.