Tax increases becoming too common in Arizona - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Commentary

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Tax increases becoming too common in Arizona

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 11:00 pm

When government revenues drop during economic downturns, there are only three choices government officials have at the state and local levels. They cannot print money so they are left with reducing spending, raising taxes or borrowing. Raising taxes is the worst option, with borrowing a close second.

Raising taxes assaults the very marrow of the economy, draining resources from the private sector at a time when it can least afford the loss. Borrowing money means an uncertain future burden. Both options make it harder to weather future economic storms. Right now, the state is spending $700 million more each month than it is collecting in tax revenue. All levels of Arizona government have a combined $41 billion in bonded debt.

Yet, many in government seem unconcerned. Everywhere one turns, new taxes are proposed. On Tuesday, Scottsdale and Tempe voters approved higher taxes on hotel room rentals. Phoenix just imposed a 2 percent food tax. The Legislature is considering raising car rental taxes to pay for a new spring training stadium for the Chicago Cubs. The Legislature also wants to raise license plate fees. Tucson is pondering a number of potential tax increases.

On May 18, voters across Arizona will consider an 18 percent increase in the state sales tax. Studies show that raising the sales tax by 18 percent will cut the state’s real economic output by $1.2 billion and that Arizonans will see their total after-tax income, already hit hard by recession, fall by an average of $300 per household.

What’s more, these proposals don’t take into account that the state’s property taxes went up this year, or the electricity tax passed by the Arizona Corporation Commission a few years ago.

This state has lost more than 10 percent of its private employment compared to its peak. State and local governments together have lost less than 6 percent of their workforces. The capacity of the private sector to pay higher taxes is at the breaking point. Even with an economic recovery, increased taxes will only feed an even bigger government that will be that much harder to finance in the next inevitable recession.

For now and for the future, reducing government spending is the only principled solution to the problem of shrinking government revenue.


Dr. Byron Schlomach is an economist and the director of the Center for Economic Prosperity at the Goldwater Institute. For more information, visit

More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

Prescott Patriots

See more of Prescott Patriots by logging into FacebookMessage this Page, learn about upcoming events and more. If you don't have a Facebook ac…

Published: September 28, 2016 - 11:01 pm @

This Fiercely Conservative Newspaper Is Endorsing A Democrat For The First Time Ever (VIDEO)

The Arizona Republic has a long and storied history of endorsing Republicans for president. That has now changed, and for the first time in th…

Published: September 28, 2016 - 10:00 pm @…

From Phoenix to Mesa, Here's Your Guide to Public Art on the Light Rail

Lynn Trimble A A Looking for a diverse assortment of art by artists in and beyond Arizona? Consider jumping on the Valley Metro Light Rail, wh…

Published: September 28, 2016 - 9:10 pm @…

Arizona Cardinals: 5 bold predictions vs Rams

The Arizona Cardinals will be looking to get back on the winning track on Sunday afternoon, facing the Los Angeles Rams at 1:25 p.m.  It will …

Published: September 28, 2016 - 8:59 pm @…

Donald Trump to pay another visit to Arizona next week

PHOENIX — Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is coming back to Arizona next week, but will not be in the Phoenix area this time arou…

Published: September 28, 2016 - 8:40 pm @…

U.S. ELECTION WRAP: Clinton Vows to Work With Sanders on Agenda

Hillary Clinton hit the campaign trail in New Hampshire with former rival Senator Bernie Sanders in a bid to ignite enthusiasm among hard-to-g…

Published: September 28, 2016 - 8:36 pm @…

California shooting victim had ties to Arizona; man shot by police 1 minute after arriving

GLENDALE, AZ - Police in the San Diego suburb of El Cajon shot and killed a black man a minute after arriving near a strip mall to investigate…

Published: September 28, 2016 - 7:28 pm @…

Episode No. 14: The Ryan Roberts Episode

It is episode fourteen of the Dry Heat Check Podcast with Jared Cohen and Greg Esposito, also known as the Ryan Roberts Episode after one of t…

Published: September 28, 2016 - 6:38 pm @…

Man's car window shatters while driving along Interstate 10 in Phoenix

PHOENIX - It was a scary moment for a Colorado man driving along Interstate 10 in Phoenix. Scott Graff said he was driving in the eastbound la…

Published: September 28, 2016 - 6:37 pm @…

Facebook on Facebook

Twitter on Twitter


Subscribe to via RSS

RSS Feeds


Most Popular

Online poll