Tax Reform

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.

<p>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. </p>

Which states are successfully fighting poverty, and which are failing? You may be surprised.

Many people believe that government should play the role of Robin Hood. Through progressive taxation, spending and redistribution, proponents believe government will reduce poverty.

Most economists, however, argue that the best way to reduce poverty is economic growth. They say more growth means more jobs, a surefire anti-poverty plan.

New Goldwater Institute study grades state performance in reducing poverty

Sometimes the devil really is in the details. This is the case with Proposition 203.

Funding childcare programs through increased tobacco taxes will drain money from other programs, including millions of dollars from health services for the medically needy and indigent.

In Arizona cigarettes cost about $4.30 a pack - $1.18 of that is tax. Those funds go toward the Medically Needy Account, the Health Education Account, the Emergency Health Services Account, and the state's General Fund. 

Revenues are pouring into the state treasury. Elections are on the horizon. Some legislators, especially in the Republican ranks, add those two facts together and mistakenly come up with the need for permanent tax cuts.

They want to make permanent tax cuts based on a one-time surge in revenues. And not just one round of cuts. Republican leaders are looking at a multi-year plan. One version would end up chopping more than $800 million from Arizona's annual revenues.

This is just bad math.

Gov. Janet Napolitano's "targeted tax relief" plan is targeted, indeed. It rewards a few people, on a few days and only for certain behaviors.

A quick look at your pay stub reveals how much taxes reduce your income. That big bite out of your take-home pay leaves less left over for hitting the beach in San Diego this summer, buying that new sofa or just taking the kids to a movie. There is probably a long list of things you can think of that you'd like to spend your money on this year. It's fair to say all workers would appreciate tax relief.

Arizonans paid $2.5 billion in income taxes this year, up 34 percent from last year. What will be done with the unexpected $700 million surplus? Senate Minority Leader Linda Aguirre, among others, is eager to "invest in Arizona"-in other words, let government spend it. For many Arizonans, that idea elicits a collective, "Ouch!"

PHOENIX-In a policy brief released today, Goldwater Institute senior fellow Clint Bolick argues that the Arizona Constitution should be amended to include a provision that would control government spending, known as a Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR). 

PHOENIX-A proposed amendment to the Arizona Constitution that would allow public universities to take ownership stakes in private businesses is not only unnecessary, but would undo an important constitutional protection, according to a Goldwater Institute report released today. 

PHOENIX-A Goldwater Institute report released today reveals that states across the country are losing residents en masse to neighboring states that offer lower taxes and better business climates. An analysis of U.S. Census data by Goldwater Institute senior fellow Dr. Matthew Ladner shows a strong statistical link between high taxes and population loss.

More than a year ago, Gov. Janet Napolitano appointed a Citizens Finance Review Commission to conduct a "top to bottom review of the state's revenue structure." On January 30, the commission issued a report recommending a tool box of possible reforms.

But the report was dead on arrival. Before the commission could issue firm recommendations, the governor burst the commission's bubble by stating that she would not pursue tax reform during the current legislative session.