Proposition 208 tax increase for Arizona’s K-12 schools struck down

Proposition 208, the voter-approved tax increase for education, is officially dead.

A ruling Friday from Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Hannah closed the nearly two-year controversy swirling around the measure, which boosted the income-tax rate for high-income earners by 3.5 percentage points, with the money directed primarily to salary increases for teachers and school support staff.

“(T) he Court is obligated to strike down Proposition 208,” Hannah wrote in a nine-page ruling, citing the guidelines given to him by the Arizona Supreme Court. However, he left open an avenue for Invest in Arizona, the organization that brought the measure to the ballot, to appeal his finding to the state Supreme Court.

The high court last August found the proposition was mostly unconstitutional, but left it to the lower court to determine if the money it would raise would exceed the constitutional spending limit for education. Hannah determined that it would.

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