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Arizona legislature asks taxpayers to volunteer to pay more

Burgess.jpg Judy Burges

Arizona Rep. Judy Burges, R-Skull Valley, has introduced a bill into the Arizona legislature’s second session that would create an “I didn’t pay enough” fund to help address the states projected 3 billion dollar deficit for fiscal 2010.

The legislation has 33 co sponsors, 3 more votes than necessary for passage. The bill also has the support of 12 state Senators as well.

Burges admits that her motivation for introducing the bill stems partly from her desire to demonstrate exactly how much additional money Arizonans are willing to contribute to the state budget to protect entitlements and services.

“When you're at 10 percent (unemployment), you really don't want to lose any more," Burges said. "But there are people out there who have told me, ‘I would be willing to give a little bit extra money’. This is their opportunity to do that.”

HB 2001 states that, “The department shall provide a space on the individual income tax return form in which the taxpayer may designate an amount of the taxpayer’s refund as a voluntary contribution to the ‘I didn’t pay enough’ fund.”

Further on it continues, “The taxpayer may also donate any amount to the, “I didn’t pay enough’ fund in lieu of, or in addition to, the designated portion of the tax refund, by an appropriate indication on the return and by including that amount with the return.”

House Minority Leader David Lujan, D-Phoenix was quick to dismiss the measure as frivolous and meaningless. “Rather than making light of the situation with her bill, I think we need to look at what is the overall plan for next year, what's the revenue we need, and come up with a comprehensive budget, not just a bill like this that doesn't resolve the situation,” he said.

The Burges bill provides a meaningful alternative to Governor Brewer’s non elective “temporary” one cent sales tax proposal. Liberal Democrats are constantly clamoring for higher taxes and more spending on “vital” services, and this is their opportunity to demonstrate their personal commitment to the programs they feel are being unfairly penalized because of the budget cuts.

By making a sizable voluntary donation, they can help restore money to entitlement programs like AHCCCS or DES, and help ensure that illegal aliens continue to receive services and free education for their children.

Meanwhile, those who are not in favor of continuing to fund these types of programs can choose to spend their money on their own priorities rather than have it confiscated by the state.


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