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Arizona lawmakers closer to banning local renters tax

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Cameron Arcand

(The Center Square)- Legislation that would scrap the rent tax in municipalities has made its way out of the Arizona Senate.

Senate Bill 1184, is sponsored by Sen. Steve Kaiser, R-Phoenix. He described it as a way to save taxpayers money on top of already increasing rent costs in the region. 

“When I think about my constituents waking up January 1, 2024, starting a new year, we’re still gonna be in tough economic times in January, and this is the absolute soonest that we can get this tax relief to my constituents and everyone’s constituents in this chamber,” Kaiser said in the Senate Committee of the Whole meeting Thursday.

“Can you imagine starting that new year with one less bill you have to pay?” 

Kaiser was alluding to the fact that if it were signed into law by Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs, it would go into effect at the start of next year, according to the current version of the legislation.

“This targets only renters. Why are we targeting renters?” he later added. 

The vote was along party lines, with some Democrats concerned that landlords would ultimately take advantage of the proposed relief. Some municipalities also expressed opposition, as it would result in less revenue for them.

“I am convinced that this tax break is going to help landlords and not renters. I believe that landlords are going to increase their rents,” Sen. Eva Burch, D-Mesa, said in the third reading of the bill. 

Similar legislation is working its way through the House of Representatives.