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.
As Chicago Mayor Rahm “the Godfather” Emanuel recently emphasized in hardnosed bargaining with teachers unions, there is typically no enforceable taxpayer backing for public pension funds.
Arizona’s constitutional drafters early in the 20th century were averse to public debt and to the tendency of government to use subsidies favor certain private interests. As a result, Arizona has a constitutional debt limit that limits state debt to $350,000—roughly $8 million in today’s dollars. But that limit is not effective at actually limiting debt. Today, state-level bonded indebtedness equals $13.7 billion. All levels of government in Arizona have outstanding debt in one form or another in the combined amount of at least $44 billion and possibly as high as $51 billion.
The state Senate passed a 2008 budget yesterday, but the state House had to put their budget vote on hold. Now what?
It would be in the best interest of Arizona for the House to approve their plan early next week and stop the Senate's runaway freight train of a budget.
Its the final days of the legislative session and the House and Senate must reconcile their budgets before they can send a final package to the Governor for her signature. Will tax cuts be on the table? That's now up to the leadership of Senate President Tim Bee, Majority Leader Thayer Verschoor, and Majority Whip John Huppenthal.
The biggest difference between the House and Senate budgets is the size of the tax cut. The House budget includes a tax cut of $62 million. The Senates is $7 million.
Yesterday the Arizona Federation of Taxpayers released a scorecard on local governments in Arizona, grading 563 local officials from around the state on tax and budget policy.
Most Arizonans probably think the state’s budget problems were solved with Proposition 100, the 18 percent sales tax increase approved in May 2010. However, if Arizona’s voters fail to approve two more budget-related proposals during the Nov. 2 general election, the Legislature will have to move swiftly on additional spending reductions.
Oro Valley's recent decision to yield its status as Arizona's subsidy capital didn't come a moment too soon. The first report for two sales-tax rebate subsidies awarded for Oracle Crossings Center and Steam Pump Village are in, and the results are predictable.
Grover Norquist is the president of Americans for Tax Reform and a leading anti-tax activist. Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate and a confirmed lefty. The two don't agree on much, but they are joining forces in support of a cause quickly gaining traction around the country: transparency, the notion that citizens are entitled to know how government spends their money.
With a $600 million general fund shortfall - almost 6 percent of the general fund budget - some Arizonans might be tempted with a tax increase. After all, the state recently enjoyed a tax cut. Arizona is a low-tax state, right?
Not exactly. It is true that Arizona's state and local tax burden is below the national average, ranking 31st highest among the states this year according to the Tax Foundation. Still, Arizona's governments take 10.3 percent of Arizonans' income.
Contact: Lucy Caldwell, (602) 633-8986
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Phoenix, AZ—Every Arizona household’s debt is getting bigger—but most people don’t even know they owe. In Arizona, every man, woman and child owes state and local governments more than $7,500 for bills ranging from sports stadiums to parking garages.