Republican lawmakers defy Ducey, move measure to prevent state tax hike

By Ryan Randazzo | Arizona Republic

Republicans move to head off state tax increase

Arizona lawmakers narrowly approved changes Thursday that will prevent a $195 million tax hike on individual income-tax filers this year, sending the measure to Gov. Doug Ducey, who has said he wants state tax revenues to go up.

The Senate and House voted along party lines for a Republican measure that will “conform” Arizona’s tax code to the changes ushered in by President Donald Trump while ensuring Arizonans don’t pay higher state taxes as a result.

Democrats opposed the measure and encouraged changes that would increase state taxes and use the money for the rainy-day fund, education or transportation.

“Cutting our income-tax rates does not help relieve the burden those in the lowest brackets are carrying,” said Rep. Mitzi Epstein, D-Phoenix.

Federal cuts could raise state taxes.

While the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 reduced federal taxes for most people, they could have indirectly increased state taxes for Arizonans, which is the issue lawmakers were trying to address.

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