If State Taxes Follow Federal Lead, Residents Could Pay $236 Million

By Holliday Moore
Howard Fischer
Published: Monday, October 29, 2018 - 12:05pm

Historically, in tax language, federal tax laws set the tone and state tax laws typically follow. If that’s the case in Arizona, taxpayers could end up paying $236 million to keep the tax code simple.

That’s based on the federal government establishing the “adjusted gross income,” considered the starting point where expenses like moving costs and alimony are subtracted or added.

At the federal level, simplification of the Internal Revenue Service's tax code ended those subtractions.

If Gov. Doug Ducey and state lawmakers adopt the new federal limits, Arizonans could also lose out on using deductions to lower their state tax returns.

Ducey would not answer questions by Arizona Capitol Media Services as to whether he plans to let the state tax code follow federal changes.

However, his gubernatorial opponent David Garcia did say simplifying the state tax code could benefit education.  However, he prefers lawmakers revamp and de-couple it from the I.R.S. to avoid placing higher taxes on the backs of Arizona’s middle and low income earners.

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