Arizona Supreme Court won’t block new tax on high-earners to fund education
Prop 208 to remain in effect while a lower court determines if the revenue it raises will exceed a constitutional spending limit.
PHOENIX (AP) - The Arizona Supreme Court said a new tax on high earners approved by voters in November can remain in effect while a lower court determines if the revenue it raises for schools will exceed a constitutional spending limit.
The ruling from the high court on Thursday, Aug. 19, is a major win for education proponents who worked for years to get the tax increase on the ballot.
Opponents said the new tax will hurt the state’s economy.
The court was considering whether Proposition 208 required a 2/3 vote to be enacted and ruled that voter initiatives do not. But the court said it can’t yet tell whether the money it raises can be legally spent so sent the case back to the lower court.
Prop 208, also known as the Invest in Education Act, was approved by voters in November 2020. It imposes a 3.5% income tax surcharge on taxable annual income over $250,000 for single persons or $500,000 for married persons filing jointly.
The funding will increase salaries for teachers and non-administrative support personnel, career training and higher education pathway programs for high school students and the Arizona Teacher’s Academy.
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