AZ Supreme Court blocks attempt to repeal massive tax cut

The issue of who to tax and how much to take is a contentious one anywhere it’s decided. One state has wisely shut down an avenue to repeal a tax cut.

The Arizona state Supreme Court blocked an attempt by organized labor to repeal a GOP-led $2 billion tax cut, the Epoch Times reported. The 5-2 decision released Aug. 19 bars the settled matter from becoming a ballot initiative. 

Totally squashed

The Grand Canyon State’s constitution allows for laws passed by the legislature to be overturned through a referendum on the ballot. If 5% of eligible voters approve it, then the law would be up for grabs.

However, this most recent ruling confirms the narrow circumstances only for tax legislation that creates a new department.

Otherwise, it ruled that any tax meant “for the support and maintenance of the departments of the state government and state institutions” couldn’t be put on the ballot.

“We conclude the exemption from the referendum power for laws ‘for the support and maintenance of the departments of the state government and state institutions,’ Ariz. Const. art. 4, pt. 1, § 1(3), applies to tax revenue measures,” Justice John Lopez IV said in the majority opinion.

“A revenue measure is exempt from referendum, regardless of the increase or decrease in revenue, provided it is for the support and maintenance of existing departments of the state government and state institutions,” Lopez continued.

Failed attempt

The teachers’ union-backed Invest in Arizona political action committee had brought the suit, hoping to turn the taxpayer spigot back on for the education black hole by repealing the tax cut passed by Arizona GOP Gov. Doug Ducey in 2020.

A lower court had allowed the referendum to proceed until it reached the state’s highest courts.

“This ruling is another big win for our state’s taxpayers, and it couldn’t have come at a better time,” Ducey said.

“With inflation hitting Arizonans hard, this decision ultimately means more of their hard-earned dollars can stay in their wallets,” Ducey concluded.

Tax revenue belongs to the taxpayers. Their duly-elected representatives passed a tax cut in their favor — and now it will stay that way.

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