Posted by 26 August 2020
Activists have placed a proposition on the Arizona ballot this year asking voters to decide if they want to raise income taxes in order to fund more education activities.
Proposition 208 would impose a new 3.5% income tax on individual taxpayers who make $250,000 or households that make $500,000. The current tax rate on those incomes is 4.5%, so passage of this proposition would mean these taxpayers would have a total tax rate of 8%.
The revenue generated from this tax increase would be distributed as follows:
- 50% to school districts and charter schools to hire new classroom personnel and increase wages
- 25% to school districts and charter schools to hire support personnel and increase their wages
- 12% for career and technical programs
- 10% for teacher mentoring and retention
- 3% for a teacher academy fund to provide incentives for students to become teachers
Supporters of Proposition 208 argue that it is only fair for wealthier Arizonans to pay higher taxes in order to pay for education services. They contend that the state’s economy will improve with a better-educated workforce. Opponents, counter that it’s unfair to single out a small slice of the population to pay for a program that the general public will benefit from. They also argue that this massive tax increase on high-income residents could lead some to leave the state.
In 2018, supporters of higher taxes for school funding tried to place a similar initiative on the ballot. State courts struck it down, however, saying that its language was misleading. This year, activists collected enough signatures to place Proposition 208 before voters.
Do you support increasing taxes on those making $250,000 to raise revenue for public schools?