So, what would a better tax system look like? To answer that question, you first have to ask: what do you want a tax system to do? And the right answer to that question should be: raise necessary government revenues while doing the least to impede private sector growth.
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Arizona leaders are doing a lot of looking for unicorns these days. The one they are in particularly hot pursuit of is a state tax structure that isn't so subject to cyclical fluctuations.
When Arizona's cigarette tax jumped from $1.18 a pack to $2 in December, Donna Dear started reminding her husband that if they quit smoking, they could afford a nice vacation. Dear, 55, of Laveen, didn't quit, but she went from 10 packs a week to six.
Property taxpayers across Arizona are alarmed. They have been receiving notification from county assessors across the state that the taxable value of their property is again increasing. Their anxiety is certainly justified because experience tells them that increases in assessed value will translate into higher property taxes when local governments set their budgets.
A bipartisan measure moving through the Arizona Legislature to cut business taxes likely would mean a higher property taxes for homeowners — at least in the short term.
Pima County homeowners next week will begin receiving property assessment notices, the basis for property taxes. They can expect valuation increases of up to 25 percent, Assessor Bill Staples says. That could mean increased property taxes.
A Jan. 12 announcement about the first round of grants from the Science Foundation of Arizona renews our concerns about allowing this group to fund education projects with little state oversight.
There is no more widely and confidently held belief about the Arizona public school system than that it has one of the highest dropout rates in the country. A recent study by the Manhattan Institute, however, indicates that isn't true.
There's a campaign to terrify Arizonans with a phony danger: Property taxes will eat you alive.