PHOENIX, AZ (3TV/CBS 5)-- Arizona lawmakers want to raise more money for taxes but can't agree on what kind of tax should be used. This week, a Senate panel approved a ballot initiative to raise about $580 million for education through a sales tax hike.
Should voters pass the measure in November, an education tax will increase to a full penny from where it currently stands at 0.6 cent. More than 80 percent of the new revenue would go to K-12 schools, and the rest to universities and community colleges.
The measure, sponsored by Sen. Kate Brophy McGee (R-Phoenix), passed this week along a party line vote with Democrats voting against it. Democrats have made education funding a top priority but raised concerns that a sales tax would hit low income Arizonans too hard. They are supporting a separate ballot measure to raise education funding by taxing the rich.
Invest in Education filed a proposal to raise nearly $1 billion with an income tax on wealthy individuals who make more than $250,000 a year and couples earning over $500,000. Supporters still need to collect nearly 240,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot. Unlike the legislative effort, Invest in Education does not steer money toward universities.
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