March 11, 2022
The Goldwater Institute won a major court victory today, defeating the largest tax hike in Arizona’s history. The decision by a Maricopa County judge bars the enforcement of Proposition 208, a measure that would have massively increased income taxes, led to staggering job loss, and turned Arizona from one of the lowest-taxed states in the country to one of the highest.
Fueled by a campaign of class-warfare and false information—and funded by unions and out-of-state special interests—Proposition 208 sought to double the income taxes imposed on small-business owners and individuals making over $250,000 a year. The Goldwater Institute filed a lawsuit challenging the initiative for violating the state Constitution’s restrictions on spending and taxation, making the case on behalf of taxpayers, small business owners, and legislators. Last summer, the Arizona Supreme Court unanimously agreed with the Goldwater Institute and sent the case back to the trial judge to find out whether Proposition 208’s spending will violate that limitation. In a decision today, the judge agreed that Proposition 208 violated the Constitution.
“Today’s decision puts a nail in the coffin of the unconstitutional, job-killing Proposition 208, and it cements Arizona’s position as the national leader in lower taxes and building a stronger economy,” said Victor Riches, President and CEO of the Goldwater Institute.
The Goldwater Institute’s victory in court follows a major legislative victory in 2021, in which the Institute enacted a plan to dramatically reduce income taxes and simplify the state’s tax code, making Arizona one of the lowest-tax states in the country. This historic reform restored Arizona’s competitive advantage as a low-tax state and provided a boost for small business owners still struggling to recover from the government’s response to the COVID pandemic.