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Ballot Measure Aims To Prohibit Service Sales Taxes

By Tom Maxedon
Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Published: Tuesday, July 3, 2018 - 4:44pm
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The Arizona Association of Realtors submitted more than 400,000 signatures Tuesday for a November ballot initiative to constitutionally prohibit a state sales tax on services.

If approved by voters, the measure would bar lawmakers from taxing medical providers, accounting firms, nail salons, and a range of other businesses services.

Holly Mabery, a Prescott real estate agent who chairs the effort, said the measure would stabilize the economy. "What we see is amending the Constitution will actually protect Arizona's economy by giving it sustainability. Because if there is inconsistency in our economy, that's usually where we see small business pack up and move out." 

But House Speaker J.D. Mesnard said barring state lawmakers from having the option to tax those services is problematic. "From a philosophical standpoint and how government should be run, I tend to believe that public officials need the flexibility to govern. And so putting restrictions on their ability isn't helpful."

A 1992 state constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds vote of both the Arizona House and Senate for anything that increases state revenue.

This ballot measure would leave it entirely up to Arizona voters to approve service sector taxes.