Today is Tax Day—an annual reminder of how much of taxpayers’ hard-earned money is swallowed by Washington, D.C.
In Arizona, we’ve been working hard to make sure Tax Day hurts a little less. We’re letting Arizonans keep more of their money and ensuring that they get the most out of their investments in state agencies.
Here are a few things we’re doing to make that happen —
- Reducing The Tax Burden: Governor Ducey promised to cut taxes on hard-working Arizonans every year he’s in office, and he’s fulfilled that promise. We’ve made it easier for companies to succeed and expand by increasing depreciation deductions when purchasing new equipment. We’ve reduced unnecessary tax burdens on renewable energy, electricity and natural gas, livestock feed, and more. As a result, the weight of Tax Day on the shoulders of companies and individuals in Arizona is lighter today than it was two years ago.
- Relieving Arizonans Of The “Hidden Income Tax”: In March 2015, Governor Ducey signed legislation protecting Arizonans by permanently indexing our state’s income tax brackets to inflation and effectively eliminating a hidden tax increase that Arizonans faced every year. This year, we’re looking to complete that process by indexing the income exemption to inflation, too, so that workers aren’t punished for getting a raise.
- Increasing Charitable Tax Credits: Arizona has taken a number of steps to reward Arizonans for making charitable contributions with their hard-earned incomes. In 2015, our state passed legislation expanding the types of charitable organizations eligible for tax credits in order to help vulnerable youth. In 2016, we passed legislation increasing the tax credit that taxpayers can claim for these contributions—as well as allowing taxpayers to make charitable contributions retroactive, encouraging even more donations.
- Treating Taxpayers Like Human Beings: The tax code can get confusing at times. That’s why a tax forgiveness program was built into the fiscal year 2016 budget waiving penalties and interest for individuals who owed the state money if they paid up during a certain time period. We treated Arizona taxpayers like human beings and gave them the chance to do the right thing and correct any mistakes in their tax filings. It worked. The program was described as a “windfall” for Arizona, resulting in $47 million ($15 million more than expected) in new resources to invest in our state’s priorities.
- Making Sure Every Cent Goes Further: In addition to continuing to reduce the tax burden on Arizonans, we’re making sure that every cent they invest in state agencies goes further. We’re streamlining government by cutting red tape, increasing efficiencies, improving customer service, and empowering public service employees to spend more time working with citizens instead of hopping around bureaucracy.
There’s still work to do to relieve hardworking Arizonans. But, over the past two years, we’ve taken significant steps toward making Tax Day hurt a little less.