Ducey Earns Top Honors for Arizona Government Financial Management | Arizona

(The Center Square) – Arizona Governor Doug Ducey is one of America’s best governors, according to a report by a free market think tank.

The CATO Institute published its 2022 fiscal policy brief for US governors this week.

The think tank praised Ducey, giving him an “A” for his rating. He was one of five governors who received an “A” in the report.

CATO began by praising him for being pro-market, citing his professional licensing reform efforts and his opposition to minimum wage increases.

The report notes that Ducey fought back against Proposition 208, a measure Arizona voters narrowly approved in 2020 to impose a 3.5% surtax on high earners to increase spending on education. This would have set the state income tax on high earners at 8%. CATO commended Ducey for overturning the results of this election by signing SB 1827 into law in June 2021; it capped the top state tax rate at 4.5%.

After that, the Arizona Supreme Court blocked the implementation of Proposition 208 in August 2021, and in March 2022 the Maricopa County Superior Court ruled that the Proposition 208 spending was unconstitutional.

“Governor Ducey has transformed Arizona’s economy over the past eight years, and the Cato Institute report is testament to the success of that effort,” Ducey spokesman CJ Karamargin said. “Arizona is a shining example of how smart policies, thoughtful leadership and fiscal responsibility pay off. Families, businesses and young professionals flock to Arizona for a reason: we’re a great place to live, work and play.”

Ducey also cut other taxes in 2021, the report notes. He signed SB 1828 into law in 2021. It reduced the number of income tax brackets in Arizona from four to two. It also reduced the maximum rate from 4.5% to 2.98%. And if the state hits certain revenue targets, it will end up having a fixed income tax of 2.5% as a result of this law.

In response to these tax cuts, Progressives tried to win a repeal question on the November 2022 ballot (Proposition 307). However, in April 2022, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that the repeal measure could not be on the ballot, CATO notes in its report.

Additionally, CATO notes that the Arizona Legislature has passed a bill to put a constitutional amendment to the November 2022 ballot that impacts tax policy. Proposition 132 would require a 60% supermajority vote of the public to approve tax measures; Governor Ducey supports the measure.

Supporters of the measure argue that since the state legislature requires supermajorities to raise taxes, the state should demand the same from voters.

Additionally, the report notes that Ducey cut property taxes. He approved the repeal of the state equalization property tax, which will save taxpayers more than $330 million a year, CATO notes. Revenue from this tax has funded public schools, but will be replaced by money from state surpluses in recent years.

While the report praised Ducey for his commitment to lowering taxes, it noted spending increases in Arizona. For example, Arizona’s general fund spending increased by 20% in 2021. Although it decreased in 2022, the report says that spending will increase by 18% in 2023.

About Jefferey G. Cannon

Check Also

AZ Big Media Ducey, Feds Battle Over Border Shipping Containers

Rafael Martinez Orozco, assistant professor of Southwest Borderlands at Arizona State University, said politics and …