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Arizona Supreme Court sets the stage to Overturn Prop 208 tax increase for school funding

Supreme Court: The Arizona Supreme Court has refused to block voter-mandated tax increases for the highest paid government, rejecting a challenge posed by Republican lawyers and local businessmen, who said the tax violated the country’s constitution.

But the victory of public school lawyers is almost temporary, as the court ruled that the use of Proposition 208 for teachers and school performance depends on the constitutional limit on spending – and said it was very likely that spending would far exceed constitutional limits.

Because there was no evidence that the spending would exceed those limits, they ordered that the case be returned to the original court to determine if it did so. If the trial court decides to do so, the voting rate will be released and it will not be able to direct funding to public schools.

Prop. 208 includes an additional 3.5% income tax for people earning more than $ 250,000 a year or for couples earning at least half a million. The additional funding, legal budget workers estimated to be $ 827 million a year, is set aside for K-12 tuition fees.

Opponents of the law have argued in court that the Arizona Constitution prohibits voters from setting new taxes, as voters do with Prop. 208 November. They also argued that a constitution that requires two-thirds of the legislature’s vote to increase taxes applies to any tax approved by voters, and that the law violates the authority of lawmakers in terms of how extra money should be spent.

Maricopa County Supreme Court Judge John Hannah denied the allegations in June.

But with the complaint, Prop’s opponents. 208 argue that the amount of voting money that will be sent to schools violates the constitutional limit on how much they can spend. Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online. The Supreme Court has rejected the appeal.

Because the “grants” in Prop. 208 taken from the rise of Arizonans’ property taxes, and not voluntary gifts from private individuals or non-governmental organizations, are subject to limited spending limits, the court ruled.

According to a court analysis, approximately $ 600 million of the estimated value of Prop. 208 funds are below the constitutional spending limit. And because the total amount spent on schools across the country was only $ 144 million under the joint spending limit in the last financial year, the new spending on education will “far exceed (allowable) spending” and is unconstitutional.

In addition, the court ruled that the language of spending could not be determined by voting methods – which meant that if spending money violated constitutional limits, the entire school funding system would be reduced.

During the 2021 legislature, representatives of the Republic and the Gov. Doug Ducey took steps to challenge Prop’s results. 208. The reduction in the amount of tax they earn creates 4.5% of income tax, effectively reducing the amount of tax available to those responsible for Prop. 208 to 1.5%, although they will still pay the full amount of the voting tax allowed and that the money should still be used for educational purposes set up at the polling station.

A separate law passed by Ducey and the legislature exempts businesses that levy taxes under individual taxes on the effects of Prop. 208.

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Scarlett Johansson

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