Americans are a hard-working bunch and should keep what they earn. Our ideas for tax reform reduce the burden of taxes while ensuring governments have the resources to focus on core responsibilities.
If you had family in town for Thanksgiving, they may have mentioned how expensive it was to rent a car at Phoenix Sky Harbor. Nearly 30 percent of the average car-rental bill at Sky Harbor is taxes, the fourth highest in the nation. Ever wonder why they're so high? Sky Harbor doesn't hide the facts: the charges help pay for the University of Phoenix Stadium and a new multimillion-dollar car rental facility.
Democrats nationwide have promised to fulfill their mandate for change by prudent fiscal management and looking out for the middle class. Its time to get down to business.
In Arizona, Gov. Janet Napolitano seems disinclined toward more broad-based tax reductions even though she touted the tax cuts of her first term during the campaign.
But theres reason for the governor to get on board with tax reductions if she wants to move Arizona forward. Evidence continues to mount that states with low personal and corporate income taxes are the healthiest economically.
Sometimes clichés fit. Take the recent shenanigans at the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for example. The court decided to put Arizona's voter ID law on hold. We can't be sure of the court's reasoning, but the plaintiffs spent a lot of time explaining how grueling it is to secure photo identification. Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill.
Low tax states are better at reducing poverty
I have an admittedly odd appreciation for leftist protest songs. For my money (sorry boomers) there is none finer than Tracy Chapman's Talkin' Bout a Revolution. Spare and urgent, Chapman's song delivers a warning:
Proposition 203, "First Things First," was designed to be popular. But should it be? It significantly expands government's role in the upbringing of young children and it's funded with a regressive tax.
The $150 million tax would fund a grab-bag of pre-kindergarten education and health programs. Regional partnership councils would be created to distribute the money statewide.
The race to attract and retain jobs is on, and economic development organizations should take note. Targeted tax incentives and credits are little more than child's play. Like Arizona's 10 percent across-the-board income tax cut earlier this year, the real action is in broad-based tax relief. But as other states join the fray, Arizona's cut is only a baby step.
Policymakers have a wide variety of opinions on just about every issue. But there is one thing they all seem to agree on--cutting taxes attracts business.
For example, policymakers agree that a surefire way to spur economic growth is through tax cuts and credits. Just look to the Arizona Enterprise Zone program for proof, it was continued this year with near unanimous legislative support. It continues income and property tax relief within the zones to improve "the economies of areas in the state with high poverty and unemployment rates."
For those concerned about Arizona's economic health, there is no more important area for agreement than low tax rates. For as Chief Justice John Marshall once said, "The power to tax involves the power to destroy."
Tax rates often play a key role in determining where individuals and businesses locate. There is a consistent migration of individuals and businesses from high tax areas (the Northeast) to lower tax areas (South and Southwest).
A few weeks ago, officials shut down Loop 202 in Mesa to film a crash scene for the upcoming movie, The Kingdom. The flaming cars were the first tangible results of Arizona's new motion picture tax incentive program which took effect this spring.
Qualifying film production companies are eligible for a corporate income tax credit equal to 10-20 percent of in-state production costs. They are also 100 percent exempt from state and county sales taxes.
Every time I fill up my Toyota Camry, I pay more than $3.00 in state gas tax. Through this tax, the state will collect over $525 million in 2007 to finance highway construction and maintenance. This year, the state will kick in an additional $245 million from the General Fund to pay for accelerated construction. Highways, in short, are not "free"ways.