By Matt Salmon |
If Tax Day were held in early November instead of April 15th, I doubt Republicans would lose a close election again.
The financial squeeze of the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) filing deadline always feels personal. But it especially hurts this year. On top of President Joe Biden’s proposal to hike taxes on everything from capital gains to married couples, families across the country are suffering from another hidden tax: historic inflation.
The nationwide Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 7.9 percent as of last month. In Arizona, where the average price of gas now exceeds $4.60 per gallon, the Phoenix area is suffering from a CPI increase closer to 11 percent. Wherever you look, workers’ paychecks just aren’t going as far as they used to.
Florida and Texas have it right. People deserve to keep the money they earn. That’s why, if I’m elected as Arizona’s next governor, I plan to eliminate our state’s income tax once and for all.
Republicans need to stay on offense. Democrats in the Grand Canyon State dream of turning us into California. They have been aggressive in their efforts to do so, from pushing a 78 percent hike on small businesses at the state level to ramping up tax and fee increases at the local level.
Conservatives cannot allow ourselves to be pacified by simply stopping these bad ideas. We should feel equally comfortable moving in the opposite direction. And so far, thanks to smart policymaking by Governor Doug Ducey and our state legislators, we have been successful in doing so.
Over the past few years, Arizona has indexed the state income tax rates to inflation; conformed the state income tax to the Internal Revenue Code after passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act; exempted military retirement from the state income tax; and passed into law a 2.5 percent flat tax representing the single largest tax cut in our state’s 110-year history.
Along the way, Democrats repeatedly warned that further reductions in the income tax would plunge us into turmoil and bankrupt government services. In reality, our state budget is in better shape than ever, with $5.27 billion in projected surplus revenue this year and plenty of room to return money to taxpayers.
Our economy is booming, too. We experienced the third-fastest economic recovery in the United States coming out of the pandemic, and we are expected to add more than 720,000 jobs over the next ten years.
These are the fruits of freedom. It is well past time to go further.
By eliminating the state income tax, we will create a business environment so welcoming to new investment that we’ll be beating businesses and entrepreneurs off with a stick. These job creators won’t pay any income tax. But they will pay property taxes, sales taxes, and more—and our tax revenues, along with our economy, will continue to grow hand-in-hand.
The bottom line is that hardworking families deserve to keep the money they earn, especially in inflationary times like these when the American Dream feels so far out of reach.
Zeroing out this tax—and ringing in Arizona’s final Tax Day—is not just the smart thing to do. It’s the right thing to do. I am the only candidate for governor who has endorsed it. And, as our next governor, it’s exactly what we will do.
Matt Salmon, a former U.S. representative and co-founder of the Freedom Caucus, is a Republican candidate for governor of Arizona.