A coalition of progressive groups filed a request with the Secretary of State’s office on Friday for a voter referendum that would block historic tax cuts that were passed by the state legislature and enacted by Governor Doug Ducey.
The groups will now have 90 days to collect a minimum of approximately 120,000 valid signatures from residents of the state — a move that would prevent the tax cuts from taking effect until all voters could decide on the measure in November 2022.
The tax cuts passed by the legislature come in response to Proposition 208, a ballot measure that narrowly won in 2020 and dramatically increased taxes of residents in the Grand Canyon state.
David Lujan, former Democratic state lawmaker and President of Children’s Action Alliance, a group that supported Proposition 208, spoke out against the tax cuts.
“That’s revenue that we think instead should be going to our public schools, going to help provide healthcare for children, affordable housing resources, all sorts of priorities that have been underfunded for years. Instead of investing in those things, they are attempting to give huge tax cuts to the rich, which is just disastrous for our future,” he claimed.
However, many officials have praised the tax reduction and argued it will allow Arizona to remain competitive and draw business investments to the state.
“Each and every Arizona taxpayer, no matter their income, will experience a tax cut under our historic tax reform. That means job creators will continue to choose our state to expand operations, working families will get to decide how they spend more of their hard-earned dollars, and those who served our nation will rightfully keep more of their own money,” Ducey said while defending the plan.
Furthermore, Ducey’s spokesperson remained skeptical that the group will be able to amass enough signatures by the stated deadline.
“But the legislation that they seem to be targeting is part of the accomplishments of one of the most successful Arizona Legislatures in recent memory. Why anyone would want to overturn that, I guess you’d have to ask them,” the spokesperson detailed.
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Cooper Moran is a reporter for the Star News Network. Follow Cooper on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Petitioning” by Costa Constantinides. CC BY 2.0.