Tax Increase Education

David Lujan of the Arizona Center for Economic Progress, left at podium, speaks at a kickoff event for an education initiative (Invest in Ed) that would raise taxes to fund schools at the state Capitol in Phoenix Monday, Feb. 17, 2020.

(The Center Square) – A new poll from Data Orbital shows support continuing to decline for Proposition 208, a statewide ballot measure that would add a new 3.5% tax surcharge on individuals with income over $250,000 or married couples with income over $500,000.

The 3.5 percent surcharge would be on top of the state's 4.5% income tax. New revenue from the tax hike would go to schools.

Of those polled, 47.5% percent said they support the tax increase, while 35.5 percent oppose it. An additional 3.4 percent said they were undecided but were leaning yes, and 1.9 percent said they were undecided but leaning no. An additional 11.7 percent were undecided and not leaning either way or declined to answer.

“The dwindling support for Prop 208 shows that people are not interested in hammering small businesses in the middle of a pandemic with the largest tax hike in Arizona history,” said Scot Mussi, president of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, which released the poll results. “Arizona voters may want more money for schools, but they are not interested in destroying our economy in the process.”

Data Orbital surveyed 550 likely Arizona voters from Oct. 3-5. The margin of error is 4.18%.

Other recent polls also showed support for the measure slipping.

A Suffolk University/USA Today poll of 500 likely voters from Sept. 26-30 showed 47% in favor and 37% opposed, with 15% undecided.

That's down from Monmouth University Polling Institute survey collected from Sept. 11 to Sept. 15, which showed 66% supported the measure. Opposition polled at 25%.

“Backers of the measure thought that they could sell a ‘soak the rich’ measure to voters, and it’s proving to be a bad miscalculation on their part,” Mussi said. “Now they are stuck trying to persuade skeptical voters to be a yes on a tax hike, which is a very difficult position to be in.”

​Dan McCaleb is the executive editor of The Center Square. He welcomes your comments. Contact Dan at dmccaleb@thecentersquare.com.

Executive Editor

Dan McCaleb is a veteran editor and has worked in journalism for more than 25 years. Most recently, McCaleb served as editorial director of Shaw Media and the top editor of the award-winning Northwest Herald in suburban Chicago.