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Budget deficit now estimated at $2 billion

Legislative budget analysts said tax collections in the first quarter of the fiscal year have been so sluggish that they have revised revenue projections downward. Now, the deficit for fiscal 2010 is $2 billion. In order for the state to collect the $7.1 billion it anticipated this year, revenues would have to grow by nearly 1 percent from the prior year. However, collections are down 16 percent after the first three months.

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Report ranks Arizona ninth nationally in state, local reliance on sales taxes

Arizona ranks ninth nationally in its reliance on sales taxes to fund its state and local governments, according to a report by a nonpartisan tax research organization. The Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation found that 48.4 percent of Arizona's tax base came from general sales taxes and from selective sales taxes on motor fuel, tobacco, insurance premiums, public utilities, amusements and alcoholic beverages.

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Behind open doors, states track stimulus money

What do an FBI fraud team, a showdown between a governor and the legislature, and a sophisticated online system called geographic information systems have in common? All are part of states' efforts to ensure that billions in federal stimulus money are spent wisely within their borders.

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Farmers, ranchers fear budget cuts to Agriculture Dept. (access required)

As Arizona continues to grapple with declining government revenue, the state's farming and ranching communities are warning that the Arizona Department of Agriculture has stretched its dollars to the limit. And the situation could grow worse, as Gov. Jan Brewer in September ordered state agencies to draft plans that predict the immediate effects on departments if their budgets are cut another 15 percent.

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Brewer urges EPA to reconsider new regulations

Warning of potentially negative impacts on water delivery and job retention, Gov. Jan Brewer is urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to consider the consequences of new regulations being proposed for the Navajo Generating Station. The coal-fired power plant, located ...

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