Senate approves Democrats’ bill creating tax credit for low-income earners | Government and politics


PHOENIX (AP) — A Democratic proposal to create a new tax credit for low-income Arizona workers that Republican Governor Doug Ducey passed as part of his budget proposal has been approved by the Senate of Arizona on Wednesday.

The proposal by Sen. Sean Bowie, a Democrat from Phoenix, won the support of 10 of 16 Senate Republicans and all Democrats who voted. The measure now heads to the House for consideration.

Bowie was optimistic about the bill’s chances, noting that it passed the Senate by a 26-3 vote last year before stalling in the House. And he said recently that its inclusion in the governor’s new spending plan could prompt him to give the budget a rare Democratic vote.

The $74 million plan is the first tax proposal the governor has backed in his eight legislative sessions that is specifically aimed at benefiting low-income workers. The tax cuts Ducey has championed, including a nearly $2 billion income tax cut passed last year, have instead mostly benefited corporations or the wealthy.

The earned income tax credit proposal mirrors the federal credit, which provides refunds to the working poor. It sets the credit at 5% of the federal amount, and the average family would receive $128 per year. A family with three children would earn over $300 a year.

The proposal would benefit about 577,000 taxpayers, according to the governor’s office.

The idea is to provide extra money to working families who could use the money for food, utilities, gas and other necessities. And Bowie said the money would come right back into the economy.

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