Gubernatorial Candidate Katie Hobbs Discusses Her Tax Proposals for Working Arizonan Families and Support for Universal Pre-K

By David Gordon

Last week, Arizona Secretary of State Candidate and Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Katie Hobbs released a wide ranging series of tax proposals designed to help Arizonan Families and the Grand Canyon State move forward and make their lives more affordable.

In comments on her campaign website, Secretary Hobb’s wrote:

“The steps laid out in this plan would make a noticeable difference for all working families in Arizona. Too many are caught between paying their bills and affording the necessities for their children and their health. Our leaders can and should act immediately to make sure Arizonans can put more money back into their pockets.”

Today, (March 9, 2022,) Secretary Hobbs graciously took time to discuss her tax proposals and support for Universal Pre-K with Blog for Arizona.

The questions and Secretary Hobb’s responses are after the below introductory summary of her tax plan for working families proposals.

How Secretary Hobbs’s Tax Plan will Help Working Families.

The headline of Ms. Hobbs tax plan is the Arizona version of the Child Tax Credit where qualifying families can claim $250.00 per child.

Noting that 100,000 families were lifted out of poverty when the federal Child Tax Credit program was in force (and able to better afford buying food, clothing, child care, and school supplies,) Secretary Hobbs wrote:

“As the federal government failed to take action to strengthen the child tax credit, Arizona families are wondering how they can afford the cost of raising their children, and they’re looking for leadership on this issue. Our leaders should learn from the success of the federal Child Tax Credit, and do their part to make sure more families can better afford the resources and services they need.”

With regards to further helping families make ends meet, Secretary Hobbs is proposing other working family centered tax proposals, including:

A sales and use tax exemption for diapers and baby formula.
A sales and use tax exemption for over the counter drugs.
A sales and use tax exemption for feminine hygiene products.
A sales and use tax holiday for purchasing school supplies.
Permanently expand Child Care Assistance for working families.
How Secretary Hobb’s Tax Plan will Prepare for the Future by Growing Arizona’s Innovation Economy.

The other major component of Secretary Hobbs is her idea to “implement a refundable tax credit for Arizonans who are pursuing career and technical education opportunities.”

The Secretary later posted (on March 8, 2022) on social media:

Secretary Hobbs discusses her tax proposals for working families and support for Universal Pre-K.

1) Please explain at least two ways your proposed career and technical education tax credit will propel Arizona to be a leader in the innovation economy and as a follow-up what is the estimated cost to this refundable tax credit?

So anytime we’re talking about creating sustainable, good paying jobs, we have to focus on education and career or technical training opportunities are something that can lead to good paying jobs. Union jobs are a great example of this. And that’s why I was proud to announce this economic plan alongside the Carpenters last week. These jobs pay well. They offer strong benefits and the specialized work that they’re doing is propelling our economy forward. Additionally, technical or career training programs, especially in sectors like high-tech manufacturing are many times the best path into professions to help people avoid taking on huge amounts of student debt. When people aren’t burdened by debt, they have more money to spend on their families, more money to buy homes, all things that we know boosts our economy. We absolutely need to empower everyday Arizonans to pursue the education that best suits their needs and they deserve assistance to up skill into jobs that provide better pay and robust benefits.”

“In terms of the cost, we put out a comprehensive plan last week and some of the pieces of the plan are easier to quantify than others. So I just want to start with saying this plan puts more money back in pockets of working families without raising their taxes and that’s money that will go right back into our economy and help create growth.”

So certainly we’ll work with the Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting to implement this tax credit in a way that maximizes its impact for Arizonans while being fiscally responsible with our state budget. We do  have a surplus right now of a billion dollars and we absolutely should be looking at the ways we can utilize that surplus to make sure that we aren’t leaving Arizonans behind.”

2) Do you support an Arizona version of the Earned Income Tax Credit that Governor Ducey and Senator Bowie favor?

“Yes. This is absolutely a step in the right direction. But I want to add that the Child Tax Credit that’s part of our plan that we released will, provide a larger benefit to even more Arizona families who need it right now.”

3)  Do you support Universal Pre-K?  Please explain.

“Yes. Every single child in Arizona deserves access to quality public education, no matter where they live in our state and universal pre-K is necessary to help students start their education on their right foot. High quality preschool benefits children from all backgrounds and it helps level the playing field. investing in universal pre-K also gives working families an option for free early education and gives employers a workforce that’s more stable and more qualified.”

If I may be permitted a quick follow-up you proposed childcare tax credit: could that be applied towards possibly paying for Universal Pre-K?

“It could, but the idea of offering universal pre-K is that it’s free for families.But my proposal does have childcare assistance as well.”

4) Would it be fair to say that  you are proposing an Arizona tax version of Build Back Better for working families? Please explain.

“I do hope that Congress gets to work and provides much needed relief for all Americans. But, I think it’s incumbent on us not to wait for them. My plan for Arizona puts money back in the pockets of working families immediately and includes ideas that are, that have had bipartisan support in the past.

“It provides critical relief by expanding opportunities for Arizonans to pursue better paying jobs in career and technical fields as we’ve already discussed. It will also give a boost to working Arizonans by permanently expanding childcare assistance as we also just discussed and providing a tax exemption for common necessities for families such as diapers baby formula, school supplies, and over the counter medication.”

5) Is there anything not covered in the first four questions that you would like the readers to know about your tax proposals for working families? Please explain. 

“It’s clear that families across the state are struggling right now with higher costs on everything from groceries to gas, to goods and I know that Arizona can be the best place to live, work and raise a family. But we absolutely need a government that works well and works for all Arizonans. This economic relief plan reflects my values and priorities to lower costs for families. But this legislature and administration are not acting at a time when Arizonans need them to take action the most. So my focus as governor is always going to be about providing relief for working families and ways that we can continue to grow the economy.”