We Won The Battle For An Arizona Flat Tax!

We Won The Battle For An Arizona Flat Tax!

By Victor Riches of the Goldwater Institute |

The Arizona Legislature just approved the Goldwater Institute’s plan to dramatically reduce income taxes and simplify the state’s tax code, making Arizona one of the lowest-tax states in the country. This historic reform will restore Arizona’s competitive advantage as a low-tax state and provide a boost for small business owners still struggling to recover from the COVID pandemic.

This plan collapses Arizona’s pre-Prop. 208 tax rates into a single, low 2.5% rate, and it caps the maximum tax rate at 4.5%. This means that no one’s taxes will increase because of Prop. 208. In fact, everyone’s income taxes will go down as a result of this victory.

Additionally, the Goldwater Institute has challenged the constitutionality of Prop. 208, and we’re now awaiting a decision from the Arizona Supreme Court. Fortunately, this new tax reform measure will mitigate the negative effects of Prop. 208—which otherwise would have decimated our economy—and help ensure the state’s future economic success.

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Our View: Arizona Taxpayers Need Much-Deserved Relief

Our View: Arizona Taxpayers Need Much-Deserved Relief

By Doug Ducey, Karen Fann & Rusty Bowers |

President Ronald Reagan once said, “You can’t be for big government, big taxes, and big bureaucracy and still be for the little guy.”

Well, in Arizona, we are fighting for the little guy. We’re reducing the size of government, slashing regulations and cutting taxes.

The pandemic left no one in America untouched, but today, Arizona is open for business and our economy is thriving.

During the pandemic, many Americans from ultra-liberal states that embraced lockdowns relocated to Arizona so their kids could still go to school in person and their small businesses could survive. Hundreds of companies are moving or expanding here. And when these companies relocate to Arizona, they’re bringing high-paying jobs.

There’s a reason that Arizona has become a beacon of economic prosperity. People and companies are tired of burdensome overregulation and high taxes, and they’re moving their operations to a place that embraces free enterprise.

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Working Class Hurt by Lockdowns But Elites Unscathed

Working Class Hurt by Lockdowns But Elites Unscathed

By Brad Palumbo |

Founding father and the second president of the United States John Adams once said that “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” What he meant was that objective, raw numbers don’t lie—and this remains true hundreds of years later.

We just got yet another example. A new data analysis from Harvard University, Brown University, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation calculates how different employment levels have been impacted during the pandemic to date. The findings reveal that government lockdown orders devastated workers at the bottom of the financial food chain but left the upper-tier actually better off.

The analysis examined employment levels in January 2020, before the coronavirus spread widely and before lockdown orders and other restrictions on the economy were implemented. It compared them to employment figures from March 31, 2021.

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Rep. David Cook Is No Conservative, He Should Stop Pretending To Be

Rep. David Cook Is No Conservative, He Should Stop Pretending To Be

By Dale Brewer, Voter in San Tan Valley |

As a constituent in LD8, I have been hearing for years from Representative David Cook about his “conservative record.” This has been the song Cook has sung every election, and being completely unchallenged, he has successfully convinced many voters it is true.

But David Cook is no conservative, and him just saying he is, doesn’t make it so. The gig is up; Mr. Cook can’t run away from his very liberal record anymore.

Last week Rep. David Cook singlehandedly killed much needed tax cuts, institutionalizing the damage of Prop 208 and carrying the water for the democrats and Red4Ed. He was the lone Republican in this vote.

In trying to spin his way out of siding with the Dems on opposing tax relief, Cook is telling voters in Pinal County that he cut taxes by $600 million last year. One small problem with his claim–it never happened.

No tax cuts were passed in 2020, as the Pandemic ended session early and a “skinny budget” was passed by the legislature.

Cook didn’t vote to cut our taxes in 2019 by $600 million either. In fact, he raised taxes when he voted to collect a new tax on online sales which has resulted in an over $425M windfall in state and local coffers so far. Although Cook and his Republican colleagues did lower income rates in 2019, this was a part of an effort to stop a tax hike caused by conforming with the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Stopping a tax increase is not the same as a tax cut. None of this was very conservative.

Cook didn’t cut our taxes in 2018 either–he again voted to raise them. Cook voted with the Democrats for the now repealed $32 car registration fee most Republicans voted against. That wasn’t Cook “standing against his colleagues” to defend conservative principles. No, that was Cook standing with the Democrats and other liberal Republicans to pass a new $500M tax. This is not conservative.

And In 2017 Cook tried to raise our taxes again when he voted for a bill in the House Transportation committee to increase our gas tax by over 50%. This is not conservative.

This year Cook has been the main champion in the House to permanently increase unemployment benefits. On the heels of a government shutdown of the economy, Rep. Cook sponsored the bill this year that would increase unemployment taxes on small and medium businesses by 14 percent. Businesses are already struggling to hire workers back because they are competing against government paying people more to stay at home. This is not conservative.

Amid a surging border crisis, this year Cook was one of only four Republicans who voted to allow illegal immigrants to qualify for in state tuition, scholarships, and financial aid at Arizona public universities. This is not conservative.

The truth is that the legislature hasn’t cut taxes by $600 million in all of the years David Cook has served in the legislature. We have only seen our taxes go up, with Cook and his Democrat pals leading the way.

This year the state has a historic $4 billion surplus sitting in the coffers that all Republicans, except for David Cook, want to use to ensure real relief to taxpayers with real tax cuts.

Voters of LD8 aren’t fooled anymore, despite the impressive amount of gaslighting Mr. Cook does. David Cook is not a conservative. And it is long overdue he stops pretending to be.

Ducey Calls Special Session To Address Wildfire Funding As State Budget Remains In Doubt

Ducey Calls Special Session To Address Wildfire Funding As State Budget Remains In Doubt

By Terri Jo Neff

Gov. Doug Ducey was expected to call a special session any day now to address the legislative stalemate of 11 budget bills which have been the subject of some opposition even among the Republican majority. So his announcement Thursday of a special session related solely to funding for natural disasters caught many lawmakers off guard.

“I am calling a special session to make sure we have the resources needed to contain current wildfires, possible flooding, and any other natural disasters that arise from this emergency,” Ducey said in his announcement. He did not include a start date for the special session but legislators have been told it will take place next week.

News of the special session unrelated to an overall budget package came as Ducey and key Republican legislators representing communities burning under the Telegraph and the Mescal fires toured the damage. It also came one day after the governor said he would be agreeable to working with the Democrat caucus to resolve the budget stalemate that threatens Ducey’s last chance transition Arizona to a flat rate income tax.

Democrats, however, have been outspoken against the current wording of the flat tax portion of the budget package, although some have left the door open for passing the majority of the spending bills, as well as a tax cut funded by Arizona’s more than $1 billion surplus.

It is more likely, however, that Ducey and legislative leaders will need to amend the 11 bills in order to get the necessary 31 votes in the House and 16 votes in the Senate. If that cannot be done in the next week or so, the governor can call another special session dealing exclusively with the budget. Or lawmakers could end up approving with a bare-bones “skinny” budget to avert a state government shutdown on July 1.

Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita tweeted Thursday she supports Ducey’s special session to deal with the wildfires. But she could not resist a poke at the governor for his response this year compared to last year during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Ugenti-Rita, Ducey’s “leadership solution” last year was “to shutdown the economy, support the legislature prematurely ending session, issuing 50+ executive orders and steadfastly refusing to convene a special session” which she and other lawmakers requested.

“Now, under the guise of another emergency, you want to wait until next week to call the legislature into special session. I find your call for a special session in this scenario incongruent with your past decisions,” she tweeted, pointing out the legislature was in session on Thursday “ready and available to help” but both chambers adjourned until next Monday because key lawmakers were with Ducey touring fire damaged communities.

A vocal critic of this year’s budget package is Sen. Paul Boyer, who has called for one-time tax cuts for one-time revenues. “Rebate taxpayer’s money now,” he tweeted earlier in the week. “That is conservative.”

Some lawmakers in the Republican majority like Boyer object to the amount of the surplus which would get returned to taxpayers as tax cuts under the current budget bills. They point to the fact the cuts would likely also result in less shared revenue to Arizona’s cities and towns, while not focusing enough on the state’s debt, including serious under-funding issues with the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System.

The Joint Legislative Budget Committee and staff from Ducey’s office are expected to continue working on a proposed compromise over the next few days.

Arizona’s COVID Response Puts It Ahead Of Most Other States In The Country

Arizona’s COVID Response Puts It Ahead Of Most Other States In The Country

By the Free Enterprise Club |

“15 days to slow the spread.” Do you remember that? It was all the rage in the media in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. You’d hear it on news broadcasts. You’d see it in commercials. And you’d read it as you scrolled through the various social media platforms.

But it didn’t take long before those calls to “slow the spread,” became calls to “cancel everything.” And too many government leaders across the country bought into it by instituting huge lockdowns and other draconian measures.

Certainly, COVID was an issue that warranted some action, but it never should have included crushing small businesses or trampling on the rights of the people.

And yet, here we are more than a year later. The states with the most severe COVID restrictions are experiencing much slower economic recovery than those that fully reopened.

Blue states are struggling

California still has not reopened, despite being the first state to lockdown back in March 2020. Finally, after months of inconsistencies, confusing decisions, and hypocrisy from leaders like Governor Newsom, the state appears to be poised to fully reopen by mid-June.

But the outlook isn’t bright. Even with such extreme lockdowns and other measures, California still experienced a deadly surge from COVID. And along with that, its economy is in turmoil with one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates at 8.3%.

Not surprisingly, there’s been a mass exodus from the state, causing it to lose a seat in the House of Representatives. And those that have remained are so fed up that they are trying to recall their governor.

But California is not alone. In a recent report, Michigan has been named as the state with the slowest recovery. Even Governor Whitmer couldn’t help but acknowledge that her radical measures, which at one point included prohibiting citizens from visiting family and friends, couldn’t stop COVID.

And then there’s New York, where Governor Cuomo’s COVID failures have been well documented. Just like California, the state also lost a seat in the House of Representatives due to a significant decline in its population. New York City alone lost approximately 900,000 jobs with a current unemployment rate of 11.4%.

But how do these blue states compare to our own?

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