Electronic income

Arizona Supreme Court reinstates massive income tax cuts

PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Supreme Court ruled Thursday that voters in the state had no right to reject a massive income tax cut approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature and Governor Doug Ducey last year.

The ruling which means a cut of nearly $2 billion that mainly benefits the wealthy is in effect.

The High Court has overturned a lower court judge who ruled in favor of education advocates who collected enough signatures under the state’s referendum law to prevent them from taking effect until what voters can weigh in November.

Lawyers for the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, a pro-business conservative group that lobbies for lower taxes and regulations, argued that the state constitution does not allow dismissals for measures providing for the ” support and maintenance” of the state government and that the tax reduction bill falls into this category.

The Supreme Court agreed in a brief order issued just two days after hearing arguments in the case. The order signed by Chief Justice Robert Brutinel does not explain the court’s reasoning, saying a full notice will be released later.

Arizona’s constitution allows voters to block newly enacted laws by collecting the signatures of 5% of qualified voters. If they do, the law is suspended until the next general election.

Republicans planned to circumvent the referendum by repealing the tax cuts and passing larger ones, but that will no longer be necessary.

Under the new law, tax rates for most taxpayers would fall to 2.5% and income would be reduced by $1.9 billion once the tax cuts are fully in place. That’s down from a range of 2.59% to 4.5%.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.