Gov. Doug Ducey delivered a scathing rebuke of Proposition 208, the Invest in Education Act, while visiting a school on Thursday with U.S Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
The proposal on November’s ballot would add a 3.5% surcharge on income tax for individuals with taxable income of $250,000 or more or couples making $500,000 or more. The revenue would go largely to raising school staff salaries.
“It would make us the equivalent of Bernie Sanders’ Vermont, or New York state or Washington, D.C.,” he said in response to a question about U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ endorsement of the measure.
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Sanders, I-Vt., endorsed Proposition 208 in a news release on Thursday morning.
“Let’s address the decades of cuts to education funding in Arizona and invest in our schools, teachers, and kids,” he wrote in a statement.
A poll released Thursday showed that the measure is in the lead among registered voters.
These are not Ducey’s first public remarks against Proposition 208. He has long said he opposes any new tax increases.
Ducey on Thursday contended the measure will hurt the state’s economy. Conservative organizations, including the Goldwater Institute, have made similar claims, arguing that small businesses will bear the brunt of the surcharge.
“It would be the equivalent of hanging a sign over our state that said, ‘Look elsewhere,'” Ducey said. “All the pipeline of people and opportunities that are coming to Arizona would be hurt.”
Invest in Ed proponents refute that claim. The measure would affect a