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State Capitol News

Republicans move to repeal state property tax

By Howard Fischer

Phoenix, AZ – House Republican leaders promised Monday to vote by the end of
March to repeal the state property tax -- and permanently forego
the $250 million it would raise -- whether or not they have a
plan by then to balance next year's budget.

The tax was suspended in 2006 when the state had a surplus. But
it returns automatically later this year without legislative
action. House Majority Leader John McCommish acknowledged the
move to repeal the tax comes even before lawmakers figure out how
to make up what could be a $2.4 billion gap this coming fiscal
year between revenues and expenses.

(You could look at that as shedding the state of $250 million of
income. Or, as we would prefer to look at it, not burdening the
residents and businesses of our state with $250 million of
additional taxes.)

Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema said the Republicans are ignoring
the will of the people in pursuing the repeal. She noted the
revenues that would be lost are greater than the cost of
providing full-day kindergarten programs throughout the state.

(And when you ask the voters of the state what they want, they
are very clear. They would rather have education then to see that
$18 or so, I think it's $83 over the course of an entire year
back in their pockets. Most of that tax cut would go back to
major businesses who make more than 10 times the average person
would make.)

But House Majority Whip Andy Tobin said that's the point:
Businsses, many of which are struggling, see the biggest
difference because they pay more in taxes.