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A new tax on high-earners for Arizona schools? We’ve got some questions.

Backers of #InvestInEd initiative say it would generate almost a billion dollars a year.


Arizona education advocates are gathering signatures for a statewide vote in November on a new income tax surcharge that would generate almost a billion dollars a year for K-12 schools.

Why do schools need another billion dollars a year from the #InvestInEd initiative? How can voters be sure the money would be put to the best use? Why an income tax increase on some taxpayers and not a sales tax hike for all?

Joe Thomas, one of the #InvestInEd campaign leaders and president of the Arizona Education Association, the state's largest teachers union, joins me on this weekend’s “Sunday Square Off” to break down the initiative.

Here’s how the initiative would raise $940 million a year for K-12 public and charter schools:

-The state would levy a new 3.5 percent surcharge on taxable earnings beyond $250,000 for single tax filers and $500,000 for married couples filing jointly. 

-Using the example of a couple with taxable income of $510,000, the surcharge on the $10,000  would be $350.

Most of the proceeds -- 50 percent -- would pay to hire and compensate teachers, as well as classroom support personnel. 

"Sunday Square Off" airs at 8 a.m. Sundays on 12 News, after NBC's "Meet the Press," with moderator Chuck Todd. 

You can find past "Square Off" segments online at 12news.com/YouTube.


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