PHOENIX (AP) — Gov. Doug Ducey proposed a tax credit for Arizona’s working poor on Friday, the first time in eight years of tax cuts that he’s launched a benefit aimed at low-income taxpayers.
In his final budget proposal before leaving office, Ducey proposed a $14.2 billion spending plan that includes more corporate tax cuts as well as a new corporate income tax credit. work for people who work but earn low wages.
He hasn’t said where he’d like to build a desalination plant, but water policy experts have long discussed the possibility of using water from Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, the closest sea to Mexico. arizona.
Ducey predicts the state will start the fiscal year July 1 with $2 billion in the bank, as revenues far exceeded expectations when the previous budget was approved last summer. It targets much of its proposed new spending on infrastructure, such as building repairs in prisons and water supply projects.
The Republican governor pledged when he took office in 2015 to cut taxes every year he is governor, and he has kept his word so far. But his past tax cut proposals have either been narrowly targeted at a specific group – such as ending taxation of veterans’ pensions – or have primarily benefited corporations and wealthy taxpayers.
His proposed 5% earned income tax credit would benefit 572,000 taxpayers with an average benefit of $128 a year, according to Ducey’s aides. It would be open to taxpayers earning less than $50,000 a year.
Anti-poverty advocates have credited the federal earned income tax credit as a boon for low-wage workers, providing lump sum cash at tax time. It generally enjoys bipartisan support, with Democrats touting its benefits for the poor and Republicans promoting it as a reward for hard work.
Ducey set aside $58 million for a corporate tax cut, but did not provide details. His aides said the exact plan would be worked out with lawmakers.
Ducey’s proposal is his opening address to lawmakers. He will negotiate a final spending plan with legislative leaders in the coming months.
Ducey also offered to give raises to thousands of state workers, including soldiers and corrections officers. He wants to cover the higher cost of transferring inmates to a private prison from a public facility in Florence, which he wants to close.
He proposed $50 million in new border spending, including an undetermined portion to pay for a prison-style fence on private property on the border.
He also wants to spend $26 million to provide free tuition to graduates of a one-year accelerated training program for nurses at Creighton University’s new campus near downtown Phoenix.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s announcement this week that he would work with the legislature to provide $1 billion to “secure Arizona’s water future for the next 100 years” entirely focused on a new desalination plant in Mexico.
Ducey’s proposed new education spending includes nearly $120 million for two programs based on a school’s performance as measured by an AF grade. In general, the best performing schools – which tend to serve wealthier families – would be eligible for larger grants. He would also spend $20 million on transportation programs for parents who don’t send their child to their neighborhood school, a major boon to the school choice movement that Ducey has enthusiastically supported.
For higher education, it would continue indefinitely $46 million in one-time funding approved last year for the state’s three universities. That money boosted engineering at Arizona State University, health, mining, space and defense at the University of Arizona, and health care at Northern Arizona University.
These are two state programs intended to help schools and students, but divert funding from jurisdictions with mask requirements.
Among his other proposals, Ducey would deposit $425 million into the rainy day fund and make the first of three deposits to a $1 billion water infrastructure fund, a major proposal from his speech on the state of the state Monday. While he suggested in that speech to build a plant to turn seawater into drinking water, his actual proposal is much more generic.
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