By Terri Jo Neff |
Arizona will have just one personal income tax rate of 2.5 percent instead of four rates as of Jan. 1, Gov. Doug Ducey announced last week. That is an effective date one year sooner than was originally expected when the governor signed legislation in 2021 for what was designed as a three-year phase in.
“It’s time to deliver lasting tax relief to Arizona families and small businesses so they can keep more of their hard-earned money,” Ducey wrote to Arizona Department of Revenue Director Robert Woods on Sept. 29. “This tax relief keeps Arizona competitive and preserves our reputation as a jobs magnet and generator of opportunity.”
It is Arizona’s thriving economy and record revenues which allows for full implementation of the flat tax now instead of January 2024, according to Ducey. The Joint Legislative Budget Committee and the Governor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting jointly informed the governor last week that Arizona’s General Fund revenues, excluding the beginning balance for Fiscal Year 2022, were at $16.7 billion.
This exceeded the statutory economic condition phase-in triggers written into the flat tax law in 2021. In addition, Arizona’s Rainy Day Fund is at its highest level ($1.4 billion) in state history and economists are forecasting Arizona will report at least a $4 billion budget surplus through 2024.
“It’s no secret that Arizona’s economy is booming,” Ducey added in his letter to Woods. “Over the last eight years, we’ve made responsible decisions to live within our means, reduce burdensome government regulations, lower taxes every year and ensure our state remains a great place to live.”
Arizona House Majority Leader Ben Toma was instrumental in getting personal income tax reform passed during the 2021 legislative session to eventually replace the state’s four-rate system of 2.59 to 4.5 percent with the 2.5 percent flat rate.
“I am happy to report that revenue thresholds have been exceeded one full year in advance, enabling the implementation of a single flat rate of 2.5% a year earlier, providing Arizonans with significant economic relief when they need it most,” he said in response to the governor’s announcement.
Several business groups and economic development organizations lauded the news, which will give Arizona the lowest flat tax in the country when it takes effect Jan. 1.
Americans For Prosperity – Arizona:
“This is a historic win for Arizona that couldn’t come at a better time,” said State Director Stephen Shadegg of AFP-Arizona. “Over time, Arizonans will continue to reap the benefits of more tax relief and the state will become even more attractive to businesses and investors, growing the state’s economy while letting hardworking taxpayers keep more of their paychecks.”
Common Sense Institute Arizona, a non-partisan research organization dedicated to the protection and promotion of Arizona’s economy:
Arizona Chamber of Commerce: