AZ State Legislature Week In Review – Week Ending February 22

Arizona capitol

It has often been said that 2018 was the year of the woman because so many women were elected) to public office. Using the same logic, it may be said that 2019 will be the year of the tax increase for Arizona because legislators, mostly Republicans, are tripping all over themselves to see who can introduce the largest tax increase.

This week, we experienced the advancing in committees of several tax increase bills and a very significant full senate victory for a university tuition bill that will ultimately lead to substantial tax increases.

First let us examine three tax increase bills that advanced through committees.

HCR2024 – UDALL. This bill is related to Proposition 301, which in the year 2000 added 0.6 percentage point to the state’s TPT tax, which is AZ’s euphemistic term for sales tax. In 2018 the legislature extended by several years the original expiration of that 0.6 percent tax. If enacted, HCR2024 will send to the voters, promote and recommend a 1.0% percentage point addition to our sales tax. This will entail an increase of about 12% to our sales tax. The Republicans that voted for this were Shope (LD), Townsend (LD16), and Udall (LD25).

HB2536 – CAMPBELL. Rumor has it that the song California Dreaming was piped through the committee room PA system as legislators voted on this horrible bill, because it seeks to emulate California style fuel taxes. This bill more than doubles our gasoline tax. This is on top of the huge increase in vehicle registration fees approved in 2018. Republican representatives that voted YES on this were Payne (LD21), Thorpe (LD6), Biasiucci (LD5), Dunn (LD13), Toma (LD22), and Campbell (LD1).

HB2109 – SHOPE. Republican legislators were not happy with only increasing taxes on fuel and registration. They had to bring the counties on to the gravy train. HB2109 doubles the limit on county’s transportation excise tax from 10% to 20%. The vote in favor of this tax increase was unanimous, except for one Democrat that voted NO, namely Powers-Hannley (LD9).

How they voted:

Committee Ways and Means 02/20/2019 Vote: 9-1-0-0-0
Andres CanoYRegina E. CobbYTimothy M. DunnY
Mitzi EpsteinYTravis W. GranthamYJoanne OsborneY
Pamela Powers HannleyNLorenzo SierraYShawnna BolickY
Ben TomaY

The last bill we are highlighting is SB1217 – CARTER. For a full analysis of the vote on this bill, check a recent ADI article. [Related article: Arizona senate passes bill setting in-state tuition rate for DACA students] . Here we will concentrate on answering the obvious question of how can the state give in-state tuition to illegal immigrants when it is strictly prohibited by Proposition 300. The answer comes in two parts because SB1217 amends two state statutes, ARS 15-1809 and ARS 1-502.

Portion of SB1217 amending ARS 15-1809. Proponents of this bill point out, truthfully, that the bill does not deal with in-state tuition for illegals. In fact, a word check reveals that no where on this bill do we see the terms illegal aliens, DACA, or in-state tuition. This bill creates a new tuition level that is neither in-state nor out-of-state. Since technically it does not deal with in-state tuition, the provisions of Prop 300 do not apply. This scheme may or may not survive a court challenge.

Portion of SB1217 amending ARS 1-502. This statute deals with the requirement that for anyone to receive “state or local benefits” they must prove “lawful presence” and lists 11 documents that can be used to satisfy that requirement. This statute also lists three common sense exemptions. SB1217 adds one more exemption, “POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION”. So, if the university that provides postsecondary education does not have to ask for proof of lawful presence, how would it be determined if the recipient is or is not here legally?

This is a provision of SB1217 that no one is talking about. They are not violating the letter of Prop 300, but certainly are violating the spirit. Most likely they will get away with it even if challenged in court.

How they voted:

Sylvia AllenNLela AlstonYSonny BorrelliNSean BowieY
Paul BoyerYDavid BradleyYKate Brophy McGeeYHeather CarterY
Lupe ContrerasYAndrea DalessandroYDavid C. FarnsworthNEddie FarnsworthN
Sally Ann GonzalesYDavid GowanNRick GrayNSine KerrN
Vince LeachNDavid LivingstonNJuan MendezYJ.D. MesnardN
Tony NavarreteYLisa OtondoYTyler PaceNJamescita PeshlakaiY
Frank PrattYMartin QuezadaYRebecca RiosYVictoria SteeleY
Michelle Ugenti-RitaNKaren FannY


  1. Politicians (of any party) who are so eager to steal from taxpayers at every turn need to be out of office ASAP.

    What a surprise that the weasels loaded SB-1217 with sneaky stuff; they’re saying, “we’ll show you suckers who voted for Proposition 300; your vote shouldn’t count when it’s inconvenient for us and our pocketbooks.” Of course they want to fill their “campaign war chests,” and a lot of the big bucks come from a big organization that represents crooked employers who are happy to depend on law-abiding citizen taxpayers to subsidize their illegal hiring. If we’re honest, we’ll recognize that these politicians want the campaign contributions for their “war” against taxpayers and liberty in favor of their personal political power and treasure.

    There is a more equitable answer for these DACA kids who want their college paid for: they should be suing the crooked employers who illegally hired their parents, and even their own parents, for those college expenses and for putting them in this position. Law-abiding taxpayers shouldn’t have to keep rewarding bad actors again and again, but that’s what keeps happening.

  2. So we have Uniparty control in AZ.

    These tax increases are in addition to other freedom-killing proposals from so-called “republicans” namely a DNA database collection of those who are already “voluntarily” submitting their fingerprints and identities to be able to work in their chosen professions.

    And pay $250 for the “privilege”.

    I think I’m changing my voter registration from “R” to “None”.

    Maybe I won’t be discriminated against next time I go vote at an actual polling place in my precinct. That is they still allow us to vote the old fashioned way.

    Might as well quit pretending we have an opposition party. The AZ GOP did not even provide candidates for the state legislature in LD 27 where I live.

    I am stuck with Goofy Greg Stanton and the dem’s red for ed conspirators at the state level.

    And I don’t see the AZ GOP standing up aggressively and fighting the election fraud that we witnessed in the last elections. I reached out to them when my access to vote was interfered with by Fontes. I need a lawyer and all I get is crickets.

    Talk about taxation without representation!

    • Not opposition: “Watch us roll on our backs and piddle all over ourselves to prove we don’t actually have any values. Ha, ha, snookered you again.”

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