A step in the right direction
Last week, the Invest in Arizona coalition submitted more than 215,000 signatures to block the $1.5 billion in tax cuts that were passed during the last legislative session and which overwhelmingly benefit the richest Arizonans. The coalition, which is comprised of Children’s Action Alliance, the Arizona Center for Economic Progress, Arizona Education Association, Stand for Children, Save our Schools Arizona, Arizona Interfaith Network, and the Friends of the Arizona School Boards Association, submitted almost 100,000 more signatures than necessary, which makes it more likely that the effort will survive any expected legal challenges. Once it is verified that a sufficient number of valid signatures were submitted, the measure will be placed on the November 2022 general election ballot for Arizona voters to decide whether they want the tax breaks for the rich to go into effect.
The tax cuts, after being fully phased-in, would eliminate Arizona’s marginal tax brackets in favor of a 2.5 percent flat tax in which approximately 70 percent of the tax cuts would benefit the top 5 percent of income earners— households earning $224,000 or more in annual taxable income. The tax cuts will reduce the contributions from households with high incomes to the General Fund and continue Arizona’s increasing dependency on regressive sales taxes to fund state needs. Reducing revenues by an estimated $1.5 billion a year will make it virtually impossible to adequately fund public schools, universities, infrastructure, and other important needs in the future. While it only takes a simple majority of legislators to pass a tax cut, it takes a supermajority to reverse tax cuts or raise revenue.
We are grateful to the thousands of volunteers across Arizona who worked so hard over the past 90 days in this monumental effort to gather the necessary signatures. Once again, Arizonans are making a powerful statement that they want to see the wealthy pay their fair share in order to make the investments that will strengthen our public schools, communities, and economy.