Arizona sales-tax code may be made simpler

The Arizona Republic
Saturday, June 2, 2012
Mary Jo Pitzl

Gov. Jan Brewer this week named a dozen people to a task force that will figure out how to make Arizona's sales-tax code simpler both for those paying it and those collecting it.

The governor created the task force last month with an executive order, saying the state's sales tax is overly complex to administer. But it's also a crucial part of state operations; about half of Arizona's operating dollars comes from the tax.

Brewer has set a Dec. 31 deadline for the group to do its work and submit a report.

Michael Hunter, the governor's special adviser on tax policy and reform, will lead the study committee. Other members represent local governments, retailers, businesses, legislators and a tax watchdog group.

Government representatives include John Olson, Gilbert's senior tax auditor; Miguel Teposte, Phoenix's finance supervisor; Tom Belshe deputy director of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns; and Vince Perez, deputy director of the state Department of Revenue.

Representing business are Steve Barela of Arizona Public Service Co.; Linda Stanfield, president of Benjamin Franklin Plumbing; Keely Hitt, senior tax manager for Circle K Stores Inc.; and Lynne Herndon, Phoenix city president of BBVA Compass Bank.

Also on the task force are Kevin McCarthy of the Arizona Tax Research Association; state Sen. John McComish, R-Phoenix; and Rep. Rick Gray, R-Sun City.

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