State Capitol News
5:31 pm
Thu July 23, 2009

Arizonans support temporary tax hike

Phoenix, AZ – Voters appear more willing to pay more to the state on items
already taxed than they are to expand the list of what is subject
to the levy.

The survey conducted for the Arizona Association of Realtors
finds that 64 percent of those asked said they would support a
temporary one-cent increase in the state's 5.6 percent sales tax
rate. That's the plan by Gov. Jan Brewer to balance the budget.
But the poll also found that two out of three people questioned
do not like an alternative plan to lower the tax rate to just 3.4
percent but tax more items, like auto repair, dry cleaning,
haircuts and warranties. That's a setback for legislative
Democrats who like that idea better. But House Minority Leader
David Lujan said he believes attitudes can be changed once people
understand the benefits of a lower overall tax rate.

(On things, particularly like big-ticket purchase items, like
purchasing a car, you can lower the rate. That would be a big
savings on big-ticket purchases. We think once we were able to
get enough information out to the public, we could show that
there's a lot of benefits to our option.)

Using the example of a $20,000 car, the difference in tax under
the Democrats' plan would be $440. Realtors President Tom Farley
said his group doesn't have a dog in the fight. While the
Democrats plan would also tax professional services like lawyers
and accountants, a constitutional amendment approved just last
year by voters precludes taxing anything dealing with real estate
transactions.