Arizona Governor Calls for Sweeping Sales Tax Reform.

Arizona Governor Calls for Sweeping Sales Tax Reform.

In her 2013 State of the State address, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R) called the Arizona sales tax system a “problem.” She referred to it as “an accountant’s dream, but a business owner’s nightmare.” Her solution? Simplify the sales tax code.

She explained:

“Sales tax is the most critical source of revenue for core State programs. But our sales tax code is also one of the the most complicated in the nation.” It has, she said, “so many twists and turns that we make it difficult for businesses to simply pay what they owe.”

As outlined in the State of the State address, business owners with customers in multiple cities must:

  • obtain multiple licenses;
  • complete multiple tax returns; and
  • deal with multiple tax bases and audits.

The result? “[C]ompliance can be nearly impossible.”

A tax force assembled to deal with the state’s transaction privilege tax system “recommended a series of changes, including standardized licensing, state-run tax collection, centralized auditing by the state, and a change in the way taxes are collected on construction materials.” (AZ Capitol Times).

With a more simple sales tax code, argued the governor, Arizona will become more competitive, and its economy will grow.

Governor Brewer’s budget plan will be released this Friday.

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