Arizona Supreme Court Kicks #InvestInEd Off Ballot

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - 6:59pm
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Mariana Dale/KJZZ
About 200 people wearing the distinctive red shirts of the #RedForEd campaign gathered at the Arizona Captiol Thursday, July 5, 2018 to celebrate turning in an estimated 270,000 signatures in support of a ballot initiative to fund public education.

Arizona voters will not have a chance this fall to decide whether to raise taxes on the rich for more education funding.

After months of signature-gathering and court battles, the Arizona Supreme Court has ruled Wednesday that the description of the Invest in Education initiative was not adequate to inform petition signers of what the proposition would do.

Invest in Ed would have changed the tax brackets to increase the current income tax rate on individuals making $250,000 a year to 8 percent, and 9 percent for individuals making more than $500,000.

But opponents argued that the measure also would have removed Arizona’s system of indexing tax brackets, which helps adjust for inflation. Opponents said that change — which would eliminate small tax breaks for Arizonans of lower incomes — was not clearly indicated on petitions.

Supporters said the ballot initiative would have generated $690 million a year for public education funds. The attorney for the supporters argued, unsuccessfully, that the initiative's wording already left that tax indexing process in place. 

The Supreme Court’s decision reverses lower-court judgments and means the Invest in Ed measure will not be on the November ballot.

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