Attorney argues why voters should have say in tax cuts that benefit wealthy

Beth Lewis, co-founder of Save Our Schools Arizona, said said at a 2021 news conference that volunteers will now be working not only to get people to veto in 2022 the legislative tax cuts but also elect politicians who will fund Arizona schools./ Howard Fischer/ Capitol Media Services

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services

A group opposed to the tax cuts approved by the legislature that largely benefit the wealthy wants a judge to reject legal efforts to keep voters from having the last word.

Attorney Andrew Gaona who represents Invest in Arizona says there is no legal basis for claims by that the constitutional right of people to second-guess anything lawmakers approve does not entitle them to vote on — and possibly veto — $1.5 billion a year in cuts to individual income taxes. Gaona told Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper that right of referendum is backed by “the plain language of the Arizona Constitution and binding authority from the Arizona Supreme Court dating back nearly 75 years.”

So he is asking Cooper to toss the the arguments advanced by the Free Enterprise Club, an organization that lobbies for lower taxes, limited government and fewer regulations, that she should quash the petitions and keep the issues off the November 2022 ballot.

Hanging in the balance are whether Arizonans get to vote on a measure enacted by the Republican-controlled legislature and signed by Gov. Doug Ducey to scrap the state’s current system of progressive income tax brackets.

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