Arizona Capitol

Governor Jan Brewer Rejects Tax Bill Benefiting State Senator Steve Yarbrough, Says Special Session May Be Necessary

Arizona Legislature
Self-promotion is the law in Steve Yarbrough's perfect world.

​Jan Brewer again rejected a bill increasing the amount of money Arizona taxpayers can write off on their tax bills and give to private-scholarship charities, denying state Senator Steve Yarbrough's second attempt to raise the amount of money each taxpayer can contribute to his side business.

In rejecting the legislation, Brewer wrote that private tuition portions of the legislation were "rushed" and would cause the state to lose revenue. She noted that the bill "stretches the limits" of what is "appropriate" in a tax-revenue bill, and added that the legislation might need to be passed in a special session to enact several important parts of the bill dealing with the Arizona Department of Revenue and Arizona Commerce Authority.

Thanks, Steve.

As we originally reported last week, Senate Bill 1186 would increase a current Arizona tax credit from $500 to $750 for donating to a "scholarship organization." Yarbrough runs the Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization, which is the largest such group in the state.

The rest of SB 1186 deals with several important tax issues, but Brewer felt she had to reject the bill to maintain fiscal order and "inspire a return to the traditional and customary understanding that certain bills are intended for specific purposes and should be held by leadership as off-limits from substantive policy changes."

This means Yarbrough shouldn't try to sneak items into law next time he wants something passed, especially when it's only been a week since his original bill was rejected.

Her veto message wasn't all meant to shame Yarbrough, however. Brewer wrote that she wants to work on raising the amount a taxpayer can donate to private charities in the future. It seems her problem with his legislation is the underhanded way he went about trying to get it passed.

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Gregory Pratt
Contact: Gregory Pratt