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Voter-approved Arizona education tax dead after court ruling

FILE - In this April 20, 2021, file photo, Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert M. Brutinel speaks during oral arguments, in Phoenix. The Arizona Supreme Court on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, rejected a request from Republican lawmakers who asked it to bypass a lower court judge and immediately rule that a tax on the wealthy to fund education approved by the state's voters in 2020 can't be enforced."The superior court is within its jurisdiction, and this Court cannot at this time conclude that it can or should compel the superior court to act in a more expeditious manner," Chief Justice Brutinel wrote. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)
Posted at 12:21 PM, Mar 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-11 14:22:37-05

PHOENIX (AP) — A judge has declared that a tax on high-earning Arizona residents to boost education spending can’t be enforced because of a state Supreme Court ruling and has ordered its collection permanently blocked.

Friday's ruling from Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Hannah was widely expected after the Supreme Court ruled in August that the tax was unconstitutional if it put schools above a legal spending cap.

Voters approved the tax in 2020 to increase teacher pay and school spending in a state with the lowest educator pay in the nation and overall per-student spending levels.

It was expected to add more than $800 million a year for K-12 schools.