Many advocacy groups will be competing for Arizona lawmakers’ time and a slice of the state budget this year.
Arizona Tax Research Association is included in that list. The Show sat down with the Sean McCarthy, senior research analyst there.
What ideally would you most like to see come out of this legislative session?
The most important part of any legislative session is the state budget and passing a state budget that is prudent and takes into account the available revenues without going above and beyond what you'd expect, naturally. But, more importantly, not committing to too much ongoing spending, but trying to be prudent with the revenue growth that is there with a strong economy, and not over committing the state with with too much ongoing spending.
Are you particularly nervous about that this year, given the fact that there's several hundred million dollars in excess money at the statehouse?
Sure. Taxpayers should always be nervous under those circumstances, because you can get into this cycle where you come to expect that you're always going to have that amount of growth. And then you can overcommit yourself in those years. And then if you don't have this strong growth — just a 1% difference in revenue growth can be several hundred million dollars — and now you've made these promises to state and local governments that they can spend into these dollars. And now you're talking about, you know, real, real paychecks to real people. And that can be very difficult, very challenging to unring those bells.