PHOENIX, Arizona – Thursday, the Arizona House passed tax reforms to implement a flat tax rate and reduced income tax during the ongoing debate over the budget. With it, they ushered in a $1.9 billion tax cut and lowered taxes to about 2.5 percent.
House Republicans announced their victory early that afternoon.
“House Republicans pass historic tax reform transitioning Arizona to a flat rate, simplifying the tax code, and reducing income taxes for all!” wrote the House GOP.
House Republicans pass historic tax reform transitioning Arizona to a flat rate, simplifying the tax code, and reducing income taxes for all! @AZHouseGOP #AZleg pic.twitter.com/35ezG8mmGv
— AZ House Republicans (@AZHouseGOP) June 24, 2021
House Speaker Pro Tempore Travis Grantham (R-Gilbert) presided as the House convened once again to discuss the budget. As The Arizona Sun Times reported, House Democrats staged a walkout on Tuesday in protest of the budget.
Following that, the Senate passed their version of the budget. In it, the Senate barred the teaching of Critical Race Theory in K-12 classrooms, prohibited COVID-19 vaccine mandates in higher education, and established a $12 million election integrity fund. Then on Thursday, they took an unprecedented step and voted to override Governor Doug Ducey’s veto on SB1850, a bill making technical revisions on legislative text.
House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R-Mesa) lamented the inability of House members to get the budget passed.
“I would ask us all: it may really be tough, but could we contemplate growing up and shouldering the responsibility together and think of [us] together [as] more than individual[s] and pass a budget?” asked Bowers.
“I would ask us all, it may really be tough, but could we contemplate growing up and shouldering the responsibility together and think of together more than individual and pass a budget?” –@SpeakerBowers after @AZHouseDems refused to show up to vote Tuesday. #AZleg pic.twitter.com/4XKzUbXi7i
— AZ House Republicans (@AZHouseGOP) June 23, 2021
Red For Ed activists were in attendance in the gallery during the hearing. When Democratic representatives stood to speak, Red For Ed members raised hands in silent applause. When Republican representatives stood to speak, Red For Ed would give them a double thumbs down.
Solidarity with @AZHouseDems who are spitting fire 🔥 right now as the @AZHouseGOP tries to silence their voices, limit public access and pass a budget that will decimate public schools and public services while giving billions of $ back to the ultra-rich. #AZLeg #aeabudgetwatch pic.twitter.com/GowLAsqjL5
— Katie Nash (@NashRedforEd) June 24, 2021
The deadline to pass the budget is in less than a week – June 30.
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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Arizona Sun Times and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].