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Fiscal crisis past, Legislature still to be frugal in 2013

With a fiscal crisis that forced billions of dollars in state government cuts mainly over, the Arizona Legislature enters its 2013 session Monday with a budget surplus but little appetite among majority Republicans to loosen the purse strings. The state has socked away about $450 million in a rainy day fund and has more than $1 billion in total surplus going into the budget year that begins July 1.

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Property tax measure faces no opposition

A years-long quest to drastically lower property taxes on business equipment is finally on the ballot, without even a hint of organized opposition. Proposition 116 would amend the Arizona Constitution to raise the limit on the amount of business personal property that is exempt from property taxes. The ballot measure would raise the exemption from $68,000 to the equivalent of the average annual earnings of 50 workers, which comes out to about $2.4 million.

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