A proposal for a flat tax rate in Arizona

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There is a proposal to institute a flat tax rate for all Arizonans. Several Republican lawmakers think it is a good idea. Senator Boyer does not. He said it would hurt cities and towns, and that they would lose a lot of money. We talked with Senate Paul Boyer, a Republican from District 20 about his thoughts on this.

We talked about numbers and what taxes would look like if the bill passes. Most people’s taxes would go down, but Boyer said this causes problems for cities because 50% of the state income tax goes to them. Phoenix would get hit at 65 million and Glendale at 10 million, Boyer said.

Republicans say because internet sales taxes are included in the mix, the hits will not be as bad. However, Boyer said this does not make sense to him. He said many of those that are considered online were actually paper, brick and mortar “at the time.” He said he doesn’t think that cities are seeing the “windfall” from the revenues that they think they will see.

He said he doesn’t know why it would make sense to make a future permanent tax cut when it is harder to raise taxes then cut them. Boyer explained that the economists are saying that the upside potential is less “than the concern for a possible downturn in the economy.”

He said the argument that it would be fair because everyone would be paying the same rate or percent makes sense if they can balance their budgets moving forward. He said they have a lot of debts that still need to be settled. 

Many believe now is the time to do something this different. But he said, he wants to listen to the economists. He said the economists say that they need to be conservative. He said if they do not have the infrastructure to sustain it or the bodies to fill the jobs then “we have a problem.” 

He said he believes there will be a time when a flat tax makes sense in Arizona, but now is not the time. He said they should just wait for at least a year to see where they are. Boyer said the proposal has to be part of the budget, but he does not think it will work.

Sen. Paul Boyer, (R) District 20

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