Earlier this month, Governor Jan Brewer vetoed legislation repealing Arizona’s statewide property tax, which would have compounded the state's fiscal woes at a cost of $250 million annually. Her veto was both socially just and fiscally prudent, since the statewide property tax was designed to make school funding more equitable.
But Arizona still has a long road to travel before it reaches the fiscal high ground. A new analysis from the Joint Legislative Budget Committee indicates that the state continues to face a budget deficit of close to $1 billion in the current fiscal year, despite enormous cuts to public services that have been enacted recently.
Governor Brewer would like to put a sales tax increase before the voters, which would certainly help to close this gap. Unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen this year because the legislature has so far refused to act on this proposal.