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New push to tax wealthiest Arizonans for K-12 funding launches

Posted by   /  January 13, 2020  /  No Comments

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Marisol Garcia, a teacher in the Isaac Elementary School District, speaks in favor of the Invest in Education Act at a Jan. 13, 2020, press conference at the Capitol.
/Photo by Jerod MacDonald-Evoy / Arizona Mirror

By Jim Small | Arizona Mirror

Arizona schools would get nearly $1 billion in new funding annually from a tax on the wealthiest Arizonans, under a proposal unveiled Monday by a coalition of teachers, unions and public education advocates.

The proposed surcharge is the core piece of the Invest in Education Act, which proponents hope to place on the 2020 ballot. The measure would add a 3.5% surcharge on all income earned above $250,000 for individual tax filers and $500,000 for joint filers. 

David Lujan, the director of the Arizona Center for Economic Progress, said the new tax will generate an estimated $940 million each year. The proposed ballot measure would direct that money to public schools.

Organizers must collect signatures from 237,645 Arizona voters by July 2 to qualify the measure for the ballot.

Joe Thomas, president of the Arizona Education Association teachers union, said the initiative was developed after months of consultation with educators and parents. 

“It is an absolute game-changer,” he said.

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