Ducey wants tax conformity money for rainy day fund

By Jeremy Duda | Arizona Mirror

Gov. Doug Ducey wants to use the extra revenue Arizona would get this year by conforming with last year’s federal tax reform law to shore up the state’s rainy day fund, setting up a fight with GOP lawmakers.

The federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which President Donald Trump signed in December 2017, eliminates a host of itemized deductions in the federal tax code. If Arizona conforms its income tax laws to those changes – the state usually passes such a conformity bill every year – it will eliminate those deductions at the state level, as well.

The Joint Legislative Budget Committee estimates that Arizonans will pay about $174 million more in taxes if those deductions are eliminated, while the Arizona Department of Revenue estimates the figure to be $228 million for individual taxes in fiscal year 2019.

Some Republican lawmakers, like House Speaker J.D. Mesnard, who will move over to the Senate in January, want to take the extra revenue and give it back to the taxpayers in the form of a tax cut. Democratic legislative leaders have expressed interest in putting the extra money into K-12 education.


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