Professor and Dean Emeritus Paul Bender was quoted in an April 7 article in the ASU State Press regarding a report from a team of economists from the state's three universities who are studying solutions to the looming budget deficit.
The article, "Legislature looks at budget loophole," by reporter Derek Quizon, discussed an alternative suggested by the Fiscal Alternatives Choices Team that would permit temporary tax increases, if they were permanently cut after five years. Advocates believe this would legally bypass a provision in the Arizona Constitution that tax increase must be approved by two-thirds of the Legislature.
Bender, an expert on constitutional issues, told Quizon the proposal is unconstitutional. "The proposal would result in an increase for several years," Bender wrote in an e-mail. "That would trigger the two-thirds requirement. The fact that they would have to pay less at some time in the future wouldn't mean that they weren't required to pay more now."
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