State Capitol News
8:29 am
Thu June 19, 2014

The Governor Criticizes State Income Tax Elimination Proposals

Gov. Jan Brewer does not think much of proposals by some of those who would succeed her to eliminate the state income tax. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer explains.

Gov. Jan Brewer
Gov. Jan Brewer
Credit Capitol Media Services file photo by Howard Fischer


Three Republican gubernatorial contenders want to eliminate the state’s individual and corporate income taxes in the name of spurring economic growth. However, together they raise $4.4 billion a year — more than half of what the state is expecting to collect this year. Since there is really no state property tax, that would make Arizona pretty much dependent on sales taxes. Brewer said that’s a problem.

“I think it’s too volatile. I think it’s been something we’ve been discussing for eons. I think that we need a balance somewhere, somehow,” she said.

Beyond that, Brewer said it’s an illusion to sell the idea that eliminating the state income tax somehow would mean lower taxes overall. She said the needs remain.

“It’s going to come from all of us, one way or the other,” she said.

Brewer said there’s also the political reality that any move to replace income taxes with things like sales taxes on services will get a fight.

“And they’re not going to get it through because you’ve got too many special interests out there that are going to push back, push back, push back,” she said.

And, Brewer said she believes the state’s current tax system is pretty well balanced and not an impediment to economic growth.