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New tax initiative floated

By Howard Fischer

Phoenix – It's called the I Didn't Pay Enough Fund. Arizonans would be able to designate a portion of their income tax returns to be held by the state in that special fund for legislators to use as they see fit. It's being pushed by Sen. Dean Martin who heads a group of lawmakers who have pledged never to raise taxes. But he said it's not really a joke.

(Every year there's always somebody out there that's complaining that they don't pay enough taxes. And rather than forcibly take money from every taxpayer out there, for those that think they're not contributing, there's now an easy way to contribute more to the state.)

He conceded many of those complaints are from people who want the legislature to put more money into specific programs. But his proposal simply gives the cash in unrestricted form to the same lawmakers that some of the donors may have complained about for not having their spending priorities straight. He said, though, the contributors remain free to lobby for how they want the money spent. So how many people does Martin expect to contribute?

(Fifty. If we get this passed, 50's my number (laughter))

The measure is guaranteed a hearing. It's been assigned to the Senate Finance Committee which just happens to be chaired by Martin. In Phoenix, for Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.