The wealthiest one percent of Arizonans will receive an average federal tax cut of $47,940, or 27% of the tax cuts going to all Arizonans. They will owe an average state income tax increase of $29,708 from the Invest in Education Act. In contrast, the bottom 60 percent will receive only 14% of all of the federal tax cuts going to Arizonans for an average tax cut of $410. This initiative is a responsible way to ask those who are benefiting the most to help students and teachers.
Politicians have been expanding corporate tax credits over the past several years. For most of these tax credits, if a corporation does not owe enough income taxes to use the whole credit, they are allowed to save the unused portion of the credit and apply it against future tax liability. Today, individuals and corporations are carrying-forward a combined $1.2 billion balance in carry-forward tax credits. Even if the corporate income tax was increased today, it would not result in immediate revenue for teachers and students because it would take several years for corporations to use their tax credit carry-forward balances.
Arizona’s tax code has many problems that need to be fixed. This initiative is the responsible route to a dedicated funding source to get needed resources into Arizona classrooms. We will always need to make sure we have state lawmakers who are committed to working for a tax code that is fair and raises sufficient revenues to properly fund the priorities Arizonans care about to create better economic opportunities and thriving communities.
99 percent of all Arizona tax filers will not have their taxes increased by this initiative. What this initiative will do is put an additional $690 million annually in new money into our public education system to pay for quality teachers in every classroom and ensure those classrooms have the resources needed to educate a skilled workforce for Arizona. When asked in a survey the past three years, Arizona’s top business leaders have consistently stated that the lack of a skilled workforce and a strong public education system are the biggest challenges to Arizona’s economy. This initiative will provide the investments needed to strengthen both.
The #RedforED movement brought unprecedented levels of grassroots engagement to the State Capitol in 2018, including teachers, support staff, parents and students, calling upon lawmakers to address the funding crisis in our public schools by appropriating new, sustainable revenue into public education.
It was because of the pressure to act which was placed upon lawmakers by this grassroots movement that the legislature appropriated an additional $400 million into classrooms for this year.
When combined with this investment, the Invest in Education Initiative will result in $1.1 billion in new investments into Arizona’s public schools starting in 2019.