PHOENIX (May 9, 2018) – The Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry has filed a committee to oppose an initiative that would harm Arizona small businesses, jeopardize teacher pay, and damage the state’s competitive standing.
Arizonans for Great Schools and a Strong Economy will lead the campaign to defeat the Invest in Education Act, an initiative calling for a dramatic spike in income tax rates for some Arizonans, many of whom operate small businesses that file their taxes in the individual portion of the tax code.
“Raising income taxes would be a terrible idea,” Arizona Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Glenn Hamer said. “Not only would it make Arizona a less attractive place for investment and small business job creators, but it would attach teacher pay to notoriously volatile tax collections. If you’re looking for stable education funding, this initiative is the wrong answer.”
The committee will be chaired by Brandy Wells, vice president of external affairs for the Chamber.
“As a former public schoolteacher, I believe strongly that Arizona’s teachers have earned a raise, which is why the Chamber and broader business community were such vocal supporters of a state budget that will result in a statewide average 20 percent raise for teachers by 2020,” Wells said. “The teacher pay raises are possible because of a healthy economy. It would make no sense to pursue policies that would weaken our competitiveness and reduce revenues available for education. Over the next several months, I look forward to sharing the message across the state as to why raising state income taxes would be so detrimental to Arizona’s teachers and our overall success.”
The Invest in Education Act proposes a top income tax rate of 9 percent, which would represent a doubling of the state’s current top rate and result in Arizona having one of the top five-highest income tax rates nationally. Arizona currently ranks 38th nationally. Were the initiative to pass, however, only California would have an income tax rate higher than Arizona’s in the region.
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