With Election Day just two weeks away, the campaign over whether to increase Arizona’s top individual income tax rate by 77.7% has captured national political leaders’ attention.
President Donald Trump at a rally in Tucson on Tuesday urged Arizonans to reject Proposition 208.
“They have some deal in Arizona where your taxes are going to go way up. You know that, right?” the president said.
The president also referenced Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ support for the initiative.
Sanders, whose views occupy the far left of the American political spectrum, last week announced he was supporting the tax increase, which would also affect small businesses that are organized as pass-through entities and pay their taxes on the individual portion of the tax code.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has cited Sanders’ support as evidence that the initiative is extreme.
During a visit to a Phoenix charter school last week by Education Sec. Betsy DeVos, the governor called attention to Sanders’ support of the initiative, saying passage of the tax increase “would make us the equivalent of Bernie Sanders’ Vermont, or New York state or Washington, D.C.” according to media reports of the event.
At yesterday’s Tucson campaign stop, Ducey thanked the president for calling attention to “what Bernie Sanders wants to do here by endorsing Prop. 208, wanting to raise our taxes 77%. So, on November 3rd, vote no on Prop. 208.”
Jaime Molera, the chairman of the committee opposing Proposition 208, has referred to the initiative as “Bernie Sanders-esque” throughout the campaign.
Following the Sanders endorsement, Molera wrote on Twitter, “Though my opponents dismissed my reference to a ‘Bernie Sanders-esque’ taxing scheme in my two debates (AZ Republic, who endorsed our position, and the AZ Cap Times) we find out it is real and backed by the extreme element of the progressive-wing.”