Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Thursday, January 15, 2015

What is Arizona's GOP Legislature up to so far?

While there was no SB1062 on the first day of this year's legislative session, there are already at least two House bills (H2152 and H2153) filed (by new Approps chair Justin Olson) to further enrich Yarbrough.

You may recall that last year, brazen self-servative Sen. Steve Yarbrough introduced the Cathi Herrod Dominionist legislation on the first day.

Olson's STO bills will deplete the general fund by expanding the STO (private/religious school voucher donation tax credit), in this case allowing a credit for ALL (no ceiling, or upper limit) of the luxury tax liability (H2152) for liquor producers and state corporate income tax for all corporations (H2153). Key language from H2152:
A.  A credit is allowed against the luxury tax liability incurred pursuant to this chapter and payable by a wholesaler pursuant to section 42‑3353 or 42-3354 or by a farm winery, manufacturer, microbrewery or craft distiller pursuant to section 42-3355 for contributions to a school tuition organization for the purposes of scholarships for low-income students as provided by sections 43-1183 and 43-1504.
B.  The amount of the credit is the total amount of the taxpayer's voluntary cash contributions.
Key language from H2153:
A.  A credit is allowed against the taxes imposed by this title for the pro rata amount of contributions made by a business pursuant to section 43‑1183, subsection F or section 43-1184, subsection F, or both.  To qualify for the credit:1.  The aggregate contribution by the business to the school tuition organization in the taxable year must be at least five thousand dollars.

"This title" in H2153 refers to the Arizona Income Tax Code.

Translated into English, House Appropriations chair Justin Olson (R-LD25/Mesa) wants to put as much taxpayer money into private/religious schools. By the way, so does Scrooge McDucey. So much so that any and all luxury tax amounts that liquor farmers, manufacturers, microbreweries or craft distillers are liable for collecting and paying may -- when this bill is passed into law -- divert EVERY last one of those tax dollars AWAY from the general fund (away from PUBLIC schools) so that they can enrich Steve Yarbrough (R-LD17/Chandler) and private/religious schools... and if corporations (not limited to the liquor industry) donate at least $5,000.00 to the private school schemes, the owners of the corporations get to split the credit based on percentage of ownership of the corporation.

I dare anyone to provide ANALYSIS that contradicts my reading of either HB2152/2153, Scrooge McDucey or Justin Olson. That includes the Arizona Republic's resident irrational editorial writer Doug MacEachern.

Fact: the two House bills expand the School Tuition Organization (STO) tax credits.

Fact: every dollar, according to the language in the bills, that wineries, manufacturers of alcoholic beverages (wine, beer, spirits/hard liquors) in Arizona wish to donate to STOs can be used to offset luxury tax liability. EVERY DOLLAR.

Fact: Arizona corporations, currently subject to among the lowest corporate income tax rates in the country, if they donate at least $5,000.00 to STOs, can reduce the amount of tax they must pay Arizona by that amount.

Fact: these taxes normally go into the general fund. The general fund provides most of the funding for our state's public schools, state government, and a portion is paid to cities and counties to fund their functions and services. Authorizing taxpayers to NOT pay those taxes puts further burden on every other taxpayer to pick up the slack.

Just how much are you willing to let the GOP-led Arizona government get away with?

The phone number for the governor's office is 602-542-4331. In Tucson, 520-628-6580. His office email is by way of a contact form on his website.

Justin Olson's office phone number is 602-926-5288. His office email is

Let them know what you think about this harebrained scheme.


I don't have a nifty segue, but either US Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has been meeting regularly with Scrooge McDucey or both of them are using brand new Koch-tainted talking points about "economic opportunity for all."

Rubio was Jon Stewart's guest last night on The Daily Show. He has a new book out (trying to see if he can run for President?) titled American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for All.

McDucey's website has a page for his priorities. At the top of his list is "Opportunity for All."

This new meme is probably the GOP talking point response to Robert Reich's 2013 movie Inequality for All. Except, of course, that McDucey's claim is all show, no go. He has promised austerity.

I'm going to keep saying it whether anyone in the "center" or "right" listens or not. You cannot kickstart the economy with austerity. The GOP knows what Keynsian economics is. They are reluctant to admit their own addiction to it. Yet the massive US federal government budget deficits didn't really become overwhelming until the 1980s when Reagan took office. In the 1990s, Clinton oversaw elimination of budget deficits and then there was GW Bush and his unfunded wars of choice.

Anyway, if you want to hear Rubio trying to explain the concept to Stewart, you can view it here.

Today it is a case of the grasshopper pitted against the elephant. But tomorrow the elephant will have its guts ripped out. Le Loi, Vietnamese emperor, 15th Century.


  1. isnt the key issue here the 10% "administrative fee"? this is the slush fund that yarborough and cronies collect. why is there so little discussion of this direct conflict of interest? also, who are the big companies that donate?

  2. Thanks for responding from which shows as being from IO Capital Princess, LLC. 8521 East Princess Dr., Scottsdale.

    First question, "isn't the key issue" Yarbrough's take from the expanded tax credits? NO. It can be fairly characterized as one of the key issues but not the only one.

    Second question, "why is there so little discussion of the direct conflict of interest?" That's an interesting question on which many people may have a lot to say. But that's not the scope of my blog post, so I will refrain at this time.

    Third question, "who are the big companies that donate?" I'm thinking that question is not necessarily germane to the issue I raised. The only reason I address it at all is because it would seem that IO Capital Princess LLC may have an interest in the legislation... presenting a conflict of sorts itself.


    Key issues include decimation of K-12 public schools in Arizona and the inappropriateness of allowing Big Capital to decide where state general fund monies should be appropriated. Why should YOU be allowed to decide to fund Phoenix Country Day School with (diverted) general fund monies?

    Big Capital has already manifested overwhelming inequality of income and wealth in Arizona. This will only exacerbate the problem.

  3. Arizona EagletarianJanuary 18, 2015 at 3:40 AM

    Here's a key issue for you.

    This story includes this:

    "GCU reported paying $56 million in taxes in 2013, according to its
    financial records. The company has lowered its tax bills by making
    tax-deductible contributions to Arizona private-school tuition
    organizations. But Mueller said the current growth rates mean the
    company will hit $100 million in taxes in a few years."

    Is IO Capital Princess, LLC invested in Grand Canyon University?