Teachers demand Gov. Ducey roll back corporate tax cuts

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The Phoenix Union High School District approved a resolution Thursday night to support teachers in their fight for livable wages. 

[INFOGRAPHIC: How AZ teacher pay compares to other states]

The unanimous vote came hours after the Arizona Education Association and Arizona Educators United announced they had formed a negotiation team and sent a letter to Gov. Doug Ducey renewing their call for a 20 percent raise for teachers and support staff.

[RELATED: Teachers continue demonstrations for higher pay, funding]

Arizona Educators United (AEU) says it wants Ducey to roll back corporate tax breaks.

“We can’t continue to fund corporations when we're draining money out of students and teachers and public schools,” says Noah Karvelis with AEU.

[RELATED: AZ teachers increase protests and rallies; threat of strike looming]

The tax breaks were signed into law under Gov. Jan Brewer and have been phased in. To restore corporate tax rates would take a two-thirds vote of the legislature, a high threshold for, what could be, a controversial and unpopular move.

Karvelis says the support for higher teacher pay has support from businesses.

[RELATED: AZ teachers considering strike if school walk-ins don't prompt change in pay]

“That goal has been signed on in agreement by a huge portion of the business community,” says Karvelis.

If lawmakers are unable to lift corporate tax rates, teacher funding would have to come in the form of higher personal income taxes or a higher sales tax.  Arizona already has a high tax rate compared to other states.

[RELATED: Arizona teachers demand 20 percent raises during statewide protests]

AEU is now gearing up for a possible meeting with the governor.

“The governor believes more needs to be done to drive up teacher salaries, but Arizona has made progress,” said spokesman for the Governor’s Office, Patrick Ptak, in a statement. 

“The governor wants to continue to put more money into K-12 in a way that's sustainable and won't harm Arizona's economy. The last three years have shown we can do that.”

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