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Arizona Supreme Court won’t block new tax on high-earners

Education Tax Challenge
Posted at 12:28 PM, Aug 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-19 15:30:55-04

PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Supreme Court says a new tax on high earners approved by the state’s voters in November can remain in effect while a lower court determines if the revenue it raises for schools will exceed a constitutional spending limit.

Thursday’s ruling from the high court is a major win for education proponents but it may only be brief.

The ruling said if the lower court decides that the spending limit is exceeded, it must declare Proposition 208 unconstitutional and void it entirely.

The court rejected an argument that the tax increase required a 2/3 vote to pass.

Gov. Doug Ducey released a statement on the court's decision Thursday morning:

"The Supreme Court has said it plainly and clearly: Prop 208 is, in their words, 'unconstitutional'. As one Justice put it: The framework 'almost certainly dooms the measure'. There is a clear legal path to Prop 208 being knocked down entirely, it's only a matter of time. Today's ruling is a very positive one for the state and for taxpayers. The out-of-state proponents of this measure drafted bad language, and now they are paying the price."