Arizona Supports Tax Increase on Wealthy to Fund Public Schools

Robin Hood may be at work here as a proposed ballot measure called for the wealthy to become taxed in order to fund public schools. A recent poll has found that this initiative has strong support from the voters of Arizona, both Republicans and Democrats alike.

California-based research firm, FM3 Research, found that 65% of Arizona’s voters were proponents of what is now known as the Invest in Education Act. The Invest in Education Campaign Chair, Josh Buckley, wears dual hats as a high school government teacher in Mesa. He weighed in on this proposition, stating, “What we see through that polling data is that the state of Arizona supports funding education in Arizona, and they support this measure.”

If this act were to come to fruition, the income tax rate would go up 3.46% to any individual income that surpasses $250,000 or any household income that maxes out past $500,000. Consequently, any individual making over $500,000 and household making over $1 million will be levied a 4.46% income tax rate.

Of these raised funds, 60% are slotted to go toward increasing teachers’ salaries. The remaining 40% would be sprinkled into other uses, namely all-day kindergarten.

According to FM3 Research’s findings, 86% of all Arizona voters believe that public schools need more funding. Furthermore, 71% also agrees that teachers’ raises should be included in the state budget. These voters agree with the notion that teachers should see a 20% pay increase by 2020.

Further findings saw that those who felt the strongest about the Invest in Education Act are:

  • Latinos
  • Women
  • Voters over 50

While a mostly bipartisan issue, Democrats approve of this Act far more than their Republican counterparts. Research shows that 88% of the blue team are in favor of this bill, while just 43% of Republican voters lend their support.

To make the Invest in Education Act a reality, teachers have been working tirelessly, collecting signatures for weeks. In order to get the Act on this coming November’s ballot, the teachers needed to obtain 150,000 signatures by July 5.

Music teacher and Arizona Educators United Organizer, Noah Karvelis, stated, “What this really shows us is what the Red for Ed movement as a whole showed us – that people in Arizona are fed up. They’re tired of waiting for answers, and they’re ready to take power into their own hands.”