In response to questions by the Arizona Globe, the AZ Senate Communications liaison Kim Quintero clarified the recently touted Senate Bill 1734, which outlines a rebate authorized for what it describes as “Arizona Families.” In a press release issued subsequent to the 10/16/23 Joint Legislative Ad Hoc Study Committee on Air Quality and Energy on gasoline prices, Senator Frank Carroll invoked the bill’s reported $260M tax rebate as evidence that the Legislature was doing its part to provide pricing relief.
“It’s clear Governor Hobbs is taking her marching orders from the federal government, instead of serving the best interests of our citizens,” Senator Carroll, a committee member, stated. “While Republicans were securing a tax rebate to give $260 million dollars back to Arizona families hurting from historic price hikes, the Governor sat on her hands and cost families at least half that amount at the pump. We plan to analyze potential changes to policy to protect Arizonans from these irresponsible actions by the Executive Branch and reckless big government overreach.”
However, the details of the tax rebate were unclear, prompting the Arizona Globe to reach out for clarification. According to the bill’s language, only certain Arizona taxpayers will receive relief. The bill states that “The department of revenue shall issue a onetime individual income tax general welfare rebate, known as the Arizona families tax rebate, to an Arizona taxpayer who filed a full-year resident tax return for taxable year 2021, claimed a dependent tax credit under section 43-1073.01…”
That means that 18% of Arizonans over 65 who do not claim dependents will not be eligible for a rebate. The Globe asked for clarification because out-of-control gas prices and inflation can significantly impact seniors, especially those on Social Security or other fixed income. And while tax relief for families will be a welcome respite, it leaves seniors wondering why they aren’t protected.
It is unclear whether the Legislature will be able to impact the upward-spiraling fuel and food costs, but in the short run, they’re not offering relief to a wide swath of Arizona voters.
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