$60 million in tax cuts advance
Package touted for job creation; critic calls it 'corporate welfare'
By Mary Jo Pitzl
The Arizona Republic
A package of tax cuts that would take $60 million from the state budget beginning in July 2011 won approval from a Senate committee Monday amid praise that it would spur job creation and criticism that it would further aggravate the state's budget deficit.
The Senate Finance Committee approved House Bill 2250 on a 5-2 vote, following party lines.
Republicans said the bill is crucial to spurring job creation, while Democrats complained that it would rob money from a state budget struggling with a structural deficit.
House Speaker Kirk Adams, the bill's sponsor, told the panel that the only way to resolve the state's budget woes is to get the economy
"It's important to work on the jobs deficit as well as the budget deficit," said Adams, R-Mesa. He said the tax cuts and incentives are designed to attract good-paying jobs, especially in manufacturing.
In deference to the ongoing structural deficit, Adams said the bill's bigger tax cuts - and the bite they would take out of tax collections - were moved to five or six years out.