PHOENIX — The Arizona Legislature has passed legislation that conforms Arizona’s tax code with the federal code while offsetting the increase in taxes caused by conformity.
Rep. Ben Toma, R-Peoria, and Sen. J.D. Mansard, R-Chandler, sponsored the bill, which passed quickly in order to fulfill their stated goal of protecting state taxpayers.
The bill will effectively reduce state income tax rates in the state by .11 percent.
Arizona uses the federal tax code as the basis of our state code, and the legislature makes changes to conform to the federal code every year.
Because the federal government passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act last year, if Arizona conforms the state code without an offset, it will have the effect of raising taxes on most Arizonans.
Senate Bill 1143 offsets that tax increase, with an across-the-board rate reduction of all tax rates, explained the legislators in a press release.
The Joint Legislative Budget Committee estimates there would have been $155 million in new taxes if this bill had not passed.
“Not only does this legislation provide much-needed clarity to those preparing to file their tax returns, but it also averts an increase in taxes,” Toma said. “Tax cuts at the federal level shouldn’t result in a state tax increase. I applaud my colleagues in the legislature for quickly addressing this issue, and I hope that the governor will join us in stopping this tax increase on Arizonans by signing the legislation.”
The bill passed almost entirely along party lines, with almost all Republicans voting for it and Democrats largely opposing it.
“As this bill only applies to this year, I look forward to working with the governor on a longer-term tax reform for next year and beyond,”Mansard said.
Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller said she was grateful for the leadership of Rep. Toma and Sen. Mesnard in getting this legislation passed for the taxpayers.
“Governor Ducey needs to sign this quickly to ensure these monies stay in the pockets of the hardworking taxpayers,” Miller said.
Jose Borrajero, director of the Arizona People’s Lobbyist organization, “What is not clear to me is how HB1143 will be implemented. The bill contains a retroactivity clause, which means that, if signed by the governor, it will provide relief for the 2018 tax returns, sooner or later. It also contains an emergency clause, which means it would go into effect immediately upon being signed by the governor. But because all Democrats voted against it, SB1143 failed to receive the 2/3 majority needed to activate the emergency clause. This seems to indicate that it will not go into effect until after the April 15 deadline.”
“It is interesting to note that all Democrats voted against SB1143, which seems odd because the main beneficiaries of the Trump tax cuts that SB1143 intends to preserve are middle class, hard working Americans, the very same people that Democrats claim they represent and support,” continued Borrajero. “What is not so odd is that the lone Republican vote against SB1143 was by Sen. Kate Brophy McGee because she represents wealthy elitists in upscale LD28.”
“Because of the seriousness of this matter, I urge all taxpayers to contact Governor Ducey and ask him to sign SB1143. He may be reached by email [HERE] or by phone in Phoenix at 602-542-4331, or in Tucson at 520-628-6580.
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