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Brewer unveils sales tax bill (access required)

Brewer unveils sales tax bill <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

Gov. Jan Brewer today announced her plans for simplifying Arizona’s complicated sales tax system, which followed recommendations from a task force on eliminating the multiple jurisdictions and layers of bureaucracy that businesses face in paying transaction privilege taxes.

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Department of Revenue puts layoff plan on hold

Gambling that Arizona lawmakers will approve its funding in time, the state tax collection agency is shelving plans to lay off more than half its staff early this month. After Gov. Jan Brewer's vetoed some of the Department of Revenue's funding in September to kill an unrelated provision of the same bill, Director Gale Garriott said the department would probably have to lay off 450 of its 710 workers in November.

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Some agencies avoid submitting reduction reports (access required)

When drafting reports to show the impact of 15 percent cuts to their budgets, some state agencies described how their services would be gutted. Some simply explained why such cuts aren't feasible. And others, such as the Governor's Office, which ordered the reports, don't seem to know where to even make the cuts.

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Bare-bones Revenue Department would eliminate audits (access required)

An unintended consequence of a veto last month means the state agency tasked with collecting taxes is on the verge of laying off more than half of its staff, barring a budget fix to allow access to all of the money lawmakers gave it earlier this year. Anthony Forschino, the agency's assistant director, said the layoffs would still allow the Department of Revenue to function, but in a bare-bones manner.

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