Arizona’s $1 billion budget hole

marianne muegenburg coth / Flickr
marianne muegenburg coth / Flickr

By James Nash | Bloomberg

Arizona, where state spending tripled since 1990 as the population grew 80 percent to 6.6 million, is facing the consequence of a slowdown coupled with tax-cutting fervor in the Republican-run legislature.

Five years after the end of a recession that cut school spending 15 percent and prompted a temporary sales-tax boost, the home of the Grand Canyon is projecting a shortfall of $520 million by June 30 and as much as $1 billion the following year.

Yet neither legislative leaders responsible for the $9.5 billion budget nor candidates vying to succeed 70-year-old Republican Governor Jan Brewer in next week’s election are pushing to reinstate the sales levy that ran out last year or to reverse a 30 percent cut in corporate income tax rates.

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