Arizona House Approves Business Property Tax Cut | Fremont Tribune – Government and Politics
PHOENIX (AP) — It took a long filibuster on the floor of the Arizona House as Republican supporters of big business property tax relief leaned on another GOP lawmaker to get her vote through to yes, but the tax cut is about to head for the Republican Governor. Doug Ducey for his certain signature.
31-28 win from Wednesday’s party line for Republican Senator JD Mesnard’s Bill came after teaming up with House GOP leaders on the floor of the House to pressure Rep. Brenda Barton to change her vote. A minor House amendment means a second Senate vote is needed before it goes to Ducey’s desk.
After half an hour of speeches from Republicans extolling the virtues of tax relief, Barton broke and gave him the 31st vote needed. She did not immediately respond to a request for comment on her decision to change her vote.
The measure cuts an additional 1% from the property assessment rate set last year when the Republican-led Legislature cut it from 18% to 16%, with a four-year phase-in in 0.5% increments every year.
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That cut was supposed to end in 2025, but Mesnard’s new bill adds two more years of half-point cuts and leaves it at 15%.
Under the state’s complicated property tax formula, any lost revenue will be transferred to other, mostly residential, property classes. But in this case, the state’s general fund will be used to make up the $88 million difference. in basic state aid to schools.
“This bill is on the one hand nice for businesses that would pay less property taxes,” Democratic Rep. Mitzi Epstein said during a floor debate on Tuesday. “Yay!”
On the other hand, she said, tapping into the general fund that is increasingly dependent on sales taxes means that low-income Arizonans increasingly pay the cost of government while businesses and the wealthy see income and property tax cuts.
“The poor and declining middle class end up having to pay more and more,” Epstein said.
Rep. Ben Toma, the Republican House Majority Leader, said there was already a property tax burden shift of about $1 billion — but that’s on landlords and landlords from vacant and agricultural land to commercial properties.
“There are winners and losers – I totally agree with that,” Toma said. “The losers are the companies.
And he said it’s not just the rich who are benefiting from the break – all businesses pay property taxes, not just wealthy business owners. He also said that because the new tax cut won’t take effect until 2027, rising property values will lessen or eliminate the hit.
“The $48 million a year estimate…it won’t be there,” Toma said. “It’s about trying to right the ship a bit and trying to make it a bit but fairer.”
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