Hundreds of parents, teachers, and students rallied at the State Capitol two weeks in a row to demand a stop to legislation at proposed at the State Capitol, that would cut education funding created by Prop 208 – Invest in Ed. Advocates got in their cars, drove SB 1783 would take away $377 million of funds already approved by voters for schools by creating a new tax loophole for the ultra-wealthy.
Parents and teachers are driving to the Capitol during spring break to raise awareness so the 1.7 million Arizona voters who passed Invest in Ed will know the legislature is attempting to undermine their will. The public voted for more education funding and expected the legislature to respect their constitutionally protected wishes.
For the second week in a row, teachers, as well as students, will head to the State Capitol during their Spring Break for the second Motor March to Save Education.
An analysis of SB 1783 by the legislature shows that:
- 90% of the individuals receiving the new tax loophole have a net taxable income of over $1 million per year. These 6,000 Arizonans would receive an annual $34,600 tax break, which is higher than Arizona’s median income, and higher than many starting teachers’ salaries.
- The loophole exempts capital gains and investment income – two key personal income streams. This is in direct opposition to the bill sponsor’s claims.
- The revenue cuts will ONLY affect revenue created by Prop 208 – Invest in Ed. The analysis makes it clear that SB 1783 violates the VPA and is illegal.
“The key question here is to define what is a small business. Politicians are trying to mislead the public to create tax loopholes for their very rich friends who frankly don’t need it. I voted for Prop 208, and expect these funds to go to education. Now we have to make sure that they do. By definition, I am a small business owner, but definitely will not see any change to my lifestyle as a result of Prop 208,” said Bart Patterson, CEO, Clear Title Agency of Arizona
The bill has already passed the State Senate and is headed to the House of Representatives for a vote.
Passed in November, Prop 208 – Invest in Ed is expected to raise almost $1 billion for Arizona schools in its first year alone. And voters want even more funding to go to the classroom.
The latest Annual Survey Results from Stand for Children found that,
- 72% of Arizona voters believe there is a need for additional funds for Arizona public schools.
- 57% are more likely to support additional funding for Arizona schools when voters learn that Arizona will still rank in the bottom five states in the nation for education funding, despite the revenues generated by Prop 208.
- Efforts to cut taxes in other areas to offset the income tax surcharges imposed by Prop 208 find little support – 40% support, 39% oppose; Opposition increases significantly when voters are informed that funding for education could also be reduced (58% opposed).
“Parents and teachers are driving to the Capitol during their spring break to raise awareness that the legislature is attempting to illegally undermine the 1.7 million Arizona voters who passed Invest in Ed. The public voted for more education funding and expected the legislature to respect their constitutionally protected wishes,” said Rebecca Gau, Executive Director of Stand for Children Arizona.