State of Arizona Archives: on Tax Reform


Jan Brewer: Proposition 100: sales tax expires; now economy is growing

We limited regulations and enacted the largest and most strategic tax cuts in state history--unlike our "friends" in Washington, D.C. And we even accomplished something novel and rare in politics: we kept our word. In 2010, we asked the people to increase their own taxes, and promised them it would be temporary. That promise will be kept when the Proposition 100 sales tax expires in May.

Not long ago, we were facing the worst housing collapse in our history. Now, our housing market is on-the-mend, recovering faster in metro Phoenix than anywhere in America. We're adding jobs at the swiftest clip in years. In fact, Arizona ranked 5th in the nation for job growth during 2012. The Kauffman Index recently declared Arizona the country's premier place for entrepreneurs. Our budget is now balanced, and we've set aside $450 million in the state's rainy-day fund for the next time crisis strikes.

Source: 2013 State of the State Address to Arizona Legislature Jan 14, 2013

Jeff Flake: I have not and will not sign Americans for Tax Reform pledge

Flake said he hasn't and wouldn't sign a pledge not to raise taxes promoted by Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform, despite being listed by the group among the officials who have signed the pledge.

Flake's campaign did not respond to requests for comment on the discrepancy.

Source: The Hill on 2012 Arizona Senate debates Oct 10, 2012

Jeff Flake: Full extension of Bush tax cuts

The two did agree on a few issues, including full extension of the Bush-era tax cuts, even for the wealthy. Flake toed the Republican line in favor of a full extension, and Carmona said he'd be willing to extend them fully only if Congress in turn took up comprehensive tax reform--a position that puts him in opposition to some Democrats, who would let the cuts for the top earners expire.
Source: The Hill on 2012 Arizona Senate debates Oct 10, 2012

Richard Carmona: Extend Bush tax cuts as part of comprehensive reform

The two did agree on a few issues, including full extension of the Bush-era tax cuts, even for the wealthy. Flake toed the Republican line in favor of a full extension, and Carmona said he'd be willing to extend them fully only if Congress in turn took up comprehensive tax reform--a position that puts him in opposition to some Democrats, who would let the cuts for the top earners expire.
Source: The Hill on 2012 Arizona Senate debates Oct 10, 2012

John McCain: Tap unused stimulus funds to declare a payroll tax holiday

McCain said he would tap unused stimulus funds to declare a payroll tax holiday and said the tax cuts made under President George W. Bush need to be extended before they expire at the end of the year.

"To raise taxes on anybody in America today, with the tough economic times we're in, is foolishness," McCain said.

Source: Arizona Daily Star coverage of 2010 Arizona Senate debate Sep 27, 2010

Jan Brewer: Increase tax revenue now; pro-growth tax cuts later

We have reduced government spending more than $1 billion and decreased state jobs more than 10%. But the depth of the problem is so severe that we cannot solve it through cuts alone. The damage done to education, and public safety would be far too great. And, fiscally counter-productive.

So we must raise some additional revenue. The longer we put this off, the less effective it will be in stabilizing our financial position. Over the long run I support a responsible pro-growth tax reform package that includes tax cuts.

However--we must ensure a revenue base that supports vital functions through this downturn. And we can no longer consider debt as a source of state revenue.

Government must live within its means. I did not create this situation--but I intend to resolve it--and continue telling the people the truth about it.

Source: Arizona 2010 State of the State Address Jan 11, 2010

Jim Pederson: AZ needs good schools & safety, not just low taxes

Q: How do we get a balanced budget while cutting taxes to spur growth?

KYL: I support the tax relief that enables the economy to grow, so that we can bring in a record amount of revenue to the treasury and thus reduce the federal deficit. Because of the policies Iíve supported, weíre going to get to a balanced budget. Not by raising taxes, as my opponent would do, but by reducing taxes to generate more economic activity, so the government collects more revenue.

PEDERSON: This administration started its term with a $500 billion surplus. With your acquiescence, you turned that into a $500 billion deficit. Youíre taking a myopic look at the economy, just focusing on one aspect--what do I need for a good business climate in Arizona? I not only need low taxes; but I need good schools, I need stable neighborhoods; I need rising incomes; I need safety for our citizens. Thatís being neglected.

KYL: One of the best ways to attract businesses to Arizona was by having stable and low tax rates.

Source: Arizona 2006 Senate debate at KPHO, Phoenix (X-ref Kyl) Oct 15, 2006

Jon Kyl: Reduce taxes to grow economy & get more tax revenue

Q: How do we get a balanced budget while cutting taxes to spur growth?

KYL: I support the tax relief that enables the economy to grow, so that we can bring in a record amount of revenue to the treasury and thus reduce the federal deficit. Because of the policies Iíve supported, weíre going to get to a balanced budget. Not by raising taxes, as my opponent would do, but by reducing taxes to generate more economic activity, so the government collects more revenue.

PEDERSON: This administration started its term with a $500 billion surplus. With your acquiescence, you turned that into a $500 billion deficit. Youíre taking a myopic look at the economy, just focusing on one aspect--what do I need for a good business climate in Arizona? I not only need low taxes; but I need good schools, I need stable neighborhoods; I need rising incomes; I need safety for our citizens. Thatís being neglected.

KYL: One of the best ways to attract businesses to Arizona was by having stable and low tax rates.

Source: Arizona 2006 Senate debate at KPHO in Phoenix Oct 15, 2006

Jane Dee Hull: $80 million in tax cuts, to make it 10 years in a row

Prudent tax cutting empowers our citizens and limits government growth, both of which improve Arizona. Arizonans have enjoyed some form of legislatively-enacted tax cuts for nine years in a row, something that can be said by no other state. Today, I am asking you to extend that streak. My budget includes $40 million in selective tax cuts targeted to help the economy, and another $40 million in cuts through truth in taxation provisions. Thatís a total of $80 million over the next two years.
Source: 2001 State of the State address to the Arizona legislature Jan 8, 2001

Gabby Giffords: No flat tax; no rebate of budget surplus

Q: Do you support a flat tax structure for state income taxes?

A: No.

Q: Would you support returning any operating surplus to Arizona taxpayers?

A: No.

Q: Would you support placing any operating surplus into a ďrainy dayĒ fund?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support requiring voter approval for all new taxes?

A: No.

Q: Do you support freezing property tax assessment values for low-income senior citizens?

A: No.

Q: Do you support a state sales tax increase to fund education?

A: Yes.

Source: 2000 Arizona State National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2000

Alan Keyes: Forbesí plan leaves IRS, and an invasive tax, intact

KEYES [To Forbes]: Iím slightly confused because it seems to me that what you propose is not that we strike off the chains of tax slavery, but that we equalize it. In this case, we will still have to have an agency - I guess we could call it the happy faced enforcer of equal tax surplus. But it would still be there, enforcing an invasive tax that would require that people tell the government what the government wants to know. How do you abolish the IRS if you donít get rid of the income tax?

FORBES: Whatever tax you have, whether itís the flat tax or national sales tax, you are going to have a collection agency to make sure the money comes in. The virtue of the flat tax is that you can do it on a single page since itís simple. You donít need a hundred and ten thousand agents to do it. You just need a handful to take in the paper, make sure the checks are attached, that they clear and the job is done.

Source: (cross-ref. to Forbes) Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

Alan Keyes: Forbesí plan still requires people to beg for tax cuts

KEYES [To Forbes]: I think part of the problem is that folks would still be subject, under your plan, to an income tax. When they wanted a tax cut, theyíd still have to beg their politicians. When under a sales tax system, theyíd give themselves a tax cut by changing their pattern of consumption. If we really want to give people control of their money, shouldnít we just abolish the income tax?

FORBES: I think if you abolish it for lower-income Americans, yes, thatís what Iíd do. As for the national sales tax, either a flat tax or national sales tax would be much better that what we have today. But there are challenges for a national sales tax. Depending on what you choose to exempt, the rate can be 20% to 35%. So a kid comes and cuts your lawn, you owe a 35% tax. You buy a new house, 35% tax. And also, you better make sure you repeal the 16th Amendment, which enables the income tax, or youíre going to have both an income tax and a sales tax.

Source: (cross-ref. to Forbes) Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

Alan Keyes: Sales tax gives control back to people

Q: Doesnít a sales tax disproportionately hit the poor over the wealthy? A: The present tax system, which allows you to escape taxation if youíre wealthy enough to pay accountants and lawyers, is what disproportionately hits the poor and the working middle class people of this country. Under my system you donít pay taxes until you decide how to spend your own money. Yes, thatís going to mean some sacrifices. But it puts the question of how you develop your wealth base back under your control.
Source: Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

Alan Keyes: Wrong to pay income taxes before basic necessities

Under the current tax system, before you have put bread in the mouths of your children, before you put a roof over the head of those children, before you put a stitch of clothes on their backs today, you pay the government. Weíre worse off than serfs. Serfs used to pay their masters after they were fed and clothed. We have to pay our master before weíre fed and clothed. I think, I think itís a travesty. And I think itís time we ended it.
Source: Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

Gary Bauer: Estate tax is double taxation - remove it

Q: Why abolish the inheritance tax would when it would cost the treasury billions and would benefit only the very richest people who inherit money? A: The money was already taxed once. On what philosophy does the government get another chunk of it when youíre trying to give that money - the results of your hard work - to your children & grandchildren? Double taxation has never been an American principle and it shouldnít be a principle in this area. So I would do away with the estate tax.
Source: Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

John McCain: 1st step to simplify taxes: close special interest loopholes

FORBES [to McCain]: Cutting the capital gains tax is key to a prosperous future. In New Hampshire you indicated support for a flat tax and I was wondering if you might put flesh on those bones and tell us what you have in mind for tax reform?

MCCAIN: I want to thank you for your efforts on behalf of a flat tax. I think weíve got to eliminate the marriage penalty, the earnings test, raise the 15% tax bracket, put a level of $5 million on the inheritance tax. But this tax code is 44,000 pages long. Itís an abomination. Itís a cornucopia of good deals for the special interests and itís a nightmare for American citizens. Weíve got to get rid of the special interest loopholes that are right in this tax code. Thatís the first step in cleaning it up to reach your goal of a simplified tax system. I appreciate your efforts. But until the day arrives when we remove the influence of the special interests, weíre not going to be able to achieve your goal.

Source: (cross-ref. from Forbes) Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

Steve Forbes: Flat-tax IRS exists, but is smaller and less powerful

KEYES [To Forbes]: Iím slightly confused because it seems to me that what you propose is not that we strike off the chains of tax slavery, but that we equalize it. In this case, we will still have to have an agency - I guess we could call it the happy faced enforcer of equal tax surplus. But it would still be there, enforcing an invasive tax that would require that people tell the government what the government wants to know. How do you abolish the IRS if you donít get rid of the income tax?

FORBES: Whatever tax you have, whether itís the flat tax or national sales tax, you are going to have a collection agency to make sure the money comes in. The virtue of the flat tax is that you can do it on a single page since itís simple. You donít need a hundred and ten thousand agents to do it. You just need a handful to take in the paper, make sure the checks are attached, that they clear and the job is done.

Source: (cross-ref. from Keyes) Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

Steve Forbes: Sales tax better than current IRS; but weíd end up with both

KEYES [To Forbes]: I think part of the problem is that folks would still be subject, under your plan, to an income tax. When they wanted a tax cut, theyíd still have to beg their politicians. When under a sales tax system, theyíd give themselves a tax cut by changing their pattern of consumption. If we really want to give people control of their money, shouldnít we just abolish the income tax?

FORBES: I think if you abolish it for lower-income Americans, yes, thatís what Iíd do. As for the national sales tax, either a flat tax or national sales tax would be much better that what we have today. But there are challenges for a national sales tax. Depending on what you choose to exempt, the rate can be 20% to 35%. So a kid comes and cuts your lawn, you owe a 35% tax. You buy a new house, 35% tax. And also, you better make sure you repeal the 16th Amendment, which enables the income tax, or youíre going to have both an income tax and a sales tax.

Source: (cross-ref. from Keyes) Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

Steve Forbes: McCain agrees with Forbesí flat tax goal, but not 1st step

FORBES [to McCain]: Cutting the capital gains tax is key to a prosperous future. In New Hampshire you indicated support for a flat tax and I was wondering if you might put flesh on those bones and tell us what you have in mind for tax reform?

MCCAIN: I want to thank you for your efforts on behalf of a flat tax. I think weíve got to eliminate the marriage penalty, the earnings test, raise the 15% tax bracket, put a level of $5 million on the inheritance tax. But this tax code is 44,000 pages long. Itís an abomination. Itís a cornucopia of good deals for the special interests and itís a nightmare for American citizens. Weíve got to get rid of the special interest loopholes that are right in this tax code. Thatís the first step in cleaning it up to reach your goal of a simplified tax system. I appreciate your efforts. But until the day arrives when we remove the influence of the special interests, weíre not going to be able to achieve your goal.

Source: (cross-ref. to McCain) Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

  • The above quotations are from State of Arizona Politicians: Archives.
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2016 Presidential contenders on Tax Reform:
  Democrats:
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Andrew Cuomo(NY)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(IL)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)

Republicans:
Amb.John Bolton(MD)
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(UT)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Rep.Peter King(NY)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Secy.Condi Rice(CA)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
2016 Third Party Candidates:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
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Page last updated: Mar 28, 2014