Good news for taxpayers in the Grand Canyon State – a legislative panel in the Arizona state house recently approved a bill that would permanenty repeal the state property tax, saving Arizona families and employers from the $250 million tax hike that they are currently staring down the barrel of.

The state property tax was suspended 3 years ago but is slated to come back this year.  The bill, sponsored by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Gilbert), was approved in committee by a 5-3 vote split down party lines. 

Americans for Tax Reform supports this legislation and urges the Arizona Senate to move forward with its version of the bill. This bill will prevent Arizonans from being hit with a massive tax hike in the midst of a recession and encourage job creation and investment.  Arizona is currently at a competitve disadvantage compared to neighboring states in many corporate tax rates, severely hampering the state’s ability to attract jobs and investment.  As it stands, Arizona’s commercial property tax is the highest in the region and 5th highest nationally.

But wait…Arizona taxpayers should hold off on breaking out the champagne and celebrating because a bill introduced by Rep. Tom Chabin (D-Flagstaff) will make that champagne much more expensive.  Chabin’s bill, HB 2524, would levy additional $3.50/ gallon in taxes on all alcoholic beverages.  This represents a 116% tax increase on distilled spirits and a mind boggling 2,185% increase on beer – OUCH!

This economy is driving many people to drink.  Unfortunately if Chabin’s bill passes, some Arizonans might not be able to afford that drink. The House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on the matter this week but was not brought to a vote.