Originally Published: August 20, 2018 7:21 p.m.
Primarily to generate the funds necessary to pay for higher teacher salaries, “#RedForEd” wants personal income taxes in Arizona to go up — way up. This would be done by adding two new tax rates to the four that currently exist. The maximum tax rate in Arizona for joint filers (in 2017) was 4.54 percent for incomes over $305,336. If approved by voters, there will be a new tax rate of 8.0 percent for joint filers making more than $500,000 and a new even higher rate of 9.0 percent for joint filers making over $1,000,000.
Right now, there are 33 states and the District of Columbia that impose progressive tax rates on different levels of income. Arizona is one of those states.
Among those 33 states and District of Columbia, Arizona currently has the third lowest maximum tax rate, at 4.54 percent; only two states are lower: North Dakota at 2.90 percent and Pennsylvania at 3.07 percent.
But that will all change. With a new maximum tax rate of 9.0 percent, we will become the fourth highest in the country. There will only be three states with higher maximum tax rates than us — California at 13.3 percent, followed by Oregon at 9.90 percent, and then Minnesota at 9.85 percent. We’ll even be higher than other illustrious deep blue states like New York and New Jersey.
In one vote, our tax structure could go from third lowest in the country to fourth highest. Overnight, we’d become a high-tax state and with that would come all the negative economic repercussions, especially the constraints on growth.