Tax Bill Could Bring Nearly $28K Windfall To Arizona's Wealthiest

By Holliday Moore
Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 - 10:11am
Updated: Thursday, February 22, 2018 - 11:45am

A bill getting support from Republican lawmakers at the Arizona House will give an exclusive group of Arizona residents tens of thousands of dollars in tax breaks each.

The House voted Wednesday to double the discount on long-term capital gains from 25 percent to 50 percent, benefiting Arizona’s wealthiest households.

Rep. Mitzi Epstein, a Tempe Democrat, supports it for senior citizens living on their investments in retirement, but pointed out the state will lose $23 million in revenue if it’s broadly applied.

"I don't know why we want to give this very top bracket," she asked her fellow Senate members, "people who make over $5 million will each get about $28,000 that they don't have to pay in taxes, while the rest of us have to make up the difference."

House Speaker J.D. Mesnard argued it is wrong to think about his proposal simply as a tax break.

"Capital gains is investment in the economy,'' he said. "Investment in the economy is good for everybody, and we want to encourage that as much as possible.''

Epstein doubts it’s a bet the state can afford while there are other critical needs, like teacher pay raises.

If you like this story, Donate Now!