Arizona Supreme Court knocks Proposition 207 off the November ballot

Late afternoon Wednesday, the Arizona Supreme Court ordered Proposition 207 to be removed from the November ballot.

Prop. 207, or the Invest in Education Act, was a ballot initiative that proposed to raise individual income tax rate 76 percent or 98 percent depending on income.

The initiative was taken to court by Arizonans for Great Schools and a Strong Economy, which argued that the proposed proposition did not accurately describe what it would do in its 100-word petition description. The accompanying caption described the tax increase to petition signers in percentage points rather than the actual percentage, and it failed to mention its repeal of tax bracket inflation indexing, which would have resulted in a tax increase on all taxpayers.

“A majority of the Court finds the proposition’s description of the change in tax rate combined with the omission of any discussion of changes in indexing for inflation collectively ‘creates a significant danger of confusion or unfairness,” Bales wrote, citing a previous court case. “This being dispositive, the Court need not address the other issues raised in the appeal.”

Shortly after the ruling, Arizonans for Great Schools and a Strong Economy Chairman Jaime Molera released a statement regarding the decision.

“This was the right decision. As we argued, the initiative and its petition were fatally flawed. Proposition 207 does not meet the requirements to be on the ballot.

“Not only was the initiative poorly crafted, it was the wrong plan. It would have harmed all taxpayers, small businesses, and would not have delivered on its promises for teachers, while weakening education reforms that were achieved in a bipartisan fashion under Proposition 301.

“We will continue to work toward economic and education policies that improve the state.”

Emily Richardson

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