Building a future that works for all Arizonans

Learn More

Securing Arizona's Future: 2019 Legislative Scorecard

Learn More

Four Steps Lawmakers Should Take this Session Toward a Fairer Tax Code for All Arizonans

Learn More

Wrong Priorities: A Tax Cut to the Rich While Arizona Asks Children in Public Schools to Wait

Learn More

New Vehicle Registration Fee Drives Up the Burden on Those Who Earn Less

Learn More

The Fair Share Campaign

Creating an Arizona Tax Code that Works for Everyone

Learn More

In Search of a State Budget that Creates Opportunity for All

Questions and Answers About Arizona's Budget and Taxes

Learn More

Economic Snapshots for Every Arizona Legislative District

Learn More

What are the neighbors doing?

A comparative look at how Nevada and Utah are investing to grow their economies

Learn More

Why should Arizona care about the federal budget?

Learn More

About

The Arizona Center for Economic Progress advances thoughtful analysis and effective policy solutions to shape a better future for every Arizonan through quality jobs, great education, and stronger communities.

We bring together the voices and knowledge of people from throughout Arizona — millennials and seniors, employers and educators, entrepreneurs and rural leaders, arts advocates and business leaders — to advocate for a long term vision that will raise the economic power of all Arizonans.

We have four key priorities for empowering all Arizonans with better jobs and economic opportunities:

  1. Quality public schools in every neighborhood;
  2. Affordable and accessible post-secondary education and job training opportunities;
  3. Eliminate barriers to joining the workforce;
  4. Robust infrastructure and sustainable communities that support our growing population
David Lujan, Esq. - Director

David Lujan, Esq. - Director

David, a former member of the state Senate and House of Representatives, has worked in public policy in Arizona for 20 years. He served as an assistant attorney general advising the School Facilities Board, legal counsel for the Arizona senate, a staff attorney providing legal services to abused and neglected children and, most recently, as a public policy director for Reading Partners, an organization that provides services to young children struggling in school. David also served as chief administrator for Arizona State University’s Preparatory Academy in Phoenix, a public charter school for preschool through 12th grade students. David earned his law degree at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU.

Karen McLaughlin, MPA - Director of Budget and Research

Karen McLaughlin, MPA - Director of Budget and Research

Karen is an Arizona budget expert. She worked in the Executive Budget Office from 1985 to 1989 and has held a variety of budget and financial positions in the Department of Administration and Arizona State University. She served in the Department of Economic Security for eleven years, retiring as financial services administrator. Karen earned her master’s of public administration degree at Arizona State University. Contact Karen at extension 207.

May Mgbolu - Economic Policy Analyst

May Mgbolu - Economic Policy Analyst

May is an Arizona native, born and raised in Tucson. She spent several years in Colorado working on behalf of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals, advocating for more data-driven models and humane policies and practices; May’s focus at Children’s Action Alliance and the Arizona Center for Economic Progress is in research and data analysis on social justice issues. May has served as a fellow for The People for the American Way Foundation and as a senior fellow at the Roosevelt Institute – Campus Network. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona.

Children’s Action Alliance Board of Directors
The Children’s Action Alliance Board of Directors serve without compensation to build a vision for Children’s Action Alliance and its advocacy efforts on behalf of Arizona’s children and families.

  • Brint Milward, Chair
    Professor, University of Arizona
  • Hon. Corey Woods, Past Chair
    Arizona State University Preparatory Academies
  • Amanda Aguirre
    Regional Center for Border Health, Inc.
  • Rhonda Anderson
    Healthcare Consultant
  • Diana Yazzie Devine
    Native American Connections
  • Joanie Flatt
    Flatt & Associates, Ltd
  • Joseph Garcia
    ASU Cronkite School of Journalism
  • Jack Gibson
    Arizona Public Media
  • Nora Hannah
    Nonprofit Strategy Advisor
  • Mark Kendall
    CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company
  • Deb Krmpotic
    Banner Thunderbird Medical Center
  • Hon. David Luna, Ed.D.
    City of Mesa
  • Sherry McFadden
    State Farm Insurance Companies
  • Ayensa Millan
    CIMA Law Group, PC
  • Rodrigo Olivares
    United Health Care
  • Elizabeth Reich
    Make-a-Wish Foundation of Arizona
  • Brett Rustand CIC
    Crest Insurance Group, LLC
  • Amy Shoptaugh, M.D.
    All About Kids Pediatrics
  • Wendy Valenzuela
    Arizona Public Service Company
  • Hon. Claudia Walters
    Nonprofit consultant
  • Cathleen Yu
    Quarles & Brady LLP
  • Dana Wolfe Naimark, President/CEO
    Children’s Action Alliance

Arizona Center for Economic Progress Advisory Board
The Arizona Center for Economic Progress’ Advisory Board is comprised of community and policy leaders who provide strategic advice on realizing a better, brighter economic vision for Arizona.

  • Hon. Chad Campbell
    Strategies 360
  • Hon. George Cunningham
    Grand Canyon Institute
  • Enrique Lopez Lira
    Grand Canyon University
  • Joseph Mais
    Sky Islands High School
  • Dana Wolfe Naimark
    Children’s Action Alliance
  • Tom Rex
    Center for Competitiveness & Prosperity Research
    W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University
  • Max Gonzales
    Chicanos Por La Causa
  • Erin Scharff
    Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law at ASU
  • Marie Sullivan
    Community Leader

Partners

The Arizona Center for Economic Progress is a member of the following organizations:

The State Priorities Partnership (SPP), a national network of nonpartisan, independent, nonprofit organizations in over 40 states. These organizations share a commitment to rigorous policy analysis, responsible budget and tax policies, and a particular focus on the needs of low- and moderate-income families. The organizations broaden the debate on budget and tax policy through public education and the encouragement of civic engagement on these issues. The SPP network is coordinated by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington-based research organization and strategic policy institute that works on a range of federal and state issues.

AZ Schools Now is a coalition of dedicated volunteers, educators, parents, school board members, faith-based leaders, and children’s advocates focused on reinvesting in Arizona’s public schools. Collectively, the constituencies of the AZ Schools Now partner organizations represent some of Arizona’s most ardent and invested supporters of public education.

About ACEP

Our Work

Fact Sheets and Reports

FACT SHEET

2019 Legislative Scorecard: How Well are Lawmakers Doing to Secure Arizona's Future?

In 2019, the Arizona legislature and Governor Ducey continued to cut taxes at a time when public education and many other important state needs are receiving less annual funding than a decade ago. This guide summarizes the voting record of all current state senators and state representatives on some of the key legislation in 2019 in which lawmakers had a choice: secure the revenue Arizona needs for a strong future or continue down the path of underfunding important needs by passing more tax cuts.

Download Now

FACT SHEET

Using Increased Revenues from Conformity on More Tax Cuts is Fiscally Irresponsible

Some lawmakers want to use the additional revenue Arizona stands to gain from conforming to federal tax changes on a $300 million tax cut. Doing so could put Arizona in a fiscal bind in future years while our schools and other priorities remain underfunded.

Download Now

FACT SHEET

Bill to Increase Charitable Deductions Comes with Tradeoffs

HB2359 would allow taxpayers to deduct charitable contributions without itemizing deductions on their state tax return. Arizona’s tax code already has among the most generous tax incentives for charitable giving of any state in the nation, including two separate tax credits for individuals who make contributions to charitable organizations. Those two tax credits have grown more than 700 percent over the last decade.

Download Now

FACT SHEET

Four Steps Lawmakers Should Take this Session for a Fairer Tax Code for all Arizonans

The Arizona legislature has cut taxes every year since 1990, but most Arizonans have not benefited from the almost three decades of annual tax cuts. While our tax code is filled with loopholes and tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy, a recent study showed that low- and middle-income Arizonans pay a larger portion of their income in state and local taxes than do wealthy families. What are lawmakers doing, or not doing, this session to make our tax code fairer?

Download Now

FACT SHEET

HB2523 Will Serve as a Barrier to Achieve60AZ Goals and Will Harm Arizona's Workforce and Economy

HB2523, allowing employers to pay full-time students below minimum wage, will serve as a barrier to Arizona reaching its Achieve60AZ goal of 60% of Arizonans holding a postsecondary credential or degree by 2030 which will have a long-term negative impact on Arizona's workforce and economy.

Download Now

FACT SHEET

2019 Legislative District Fact Sheets

Communities are strongest when everyone thrives. Our 2019 legislative district fact sheets provide data on the economic well-being for residents living in each of Arizona's 30 state legislative districts.

Download Now

FACT SHEET

Wrong Priorities: It Doesn't Make Sense to Give a Tax Cut to the Rich While Arizona Asks Children in Public Schools to Wait

At a time when we are asking Arizona's students to wait another three years for classroom resources that were cut a decade ago, and with Arizona unprepared for the next economic downturn, it simply does not make sense to change our tax code to overwhelmingly benefit the richest Arizonans.

Download Now

FACT SHEET

It's Time to put the Brakes on the Automatic Growth of Corporate Tax Credits to Private Schools

Arizona's tax credits to private schools diverted more than $171 million from the state budget in 2018 - funding that could otherwise be used to fund public schools. That amount will increase because the tax credit grows automatically by 20% each year.

Download Now

FACT SHEET

2019 - In Search of a State Budget That Creates Opportunity for All - Questions and Answers About Arizona's Budget and Taxes

State budgets and taxes are the foundation for achieving our common priorities that will lead to more quality jobs and a more robust economy for all of us. This publication provides information and analysis to help all Arizonans better understand how the state budget and tax decisions made by the legislature and Governor impact our ability to achieve greater economic prosperity for all.

Download Now

FACT SHEET

New Vehicle Registration Fee Drives Up the Burden on Those Who Earn Less

The new $32 vehicle registration fee is yet another example of how those who can least afford it are being asked to pay a larger portion of their income in state taxes and fees compared to wealthier Arizonans to support the same services we all benefit from.

Download Now

FACT SHEET

Senate Farm Bill is the Way Forward on SNAP

A quick look demonstrates the obvious: the bipartisan Senate Farm bill protects and strengthens the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), while the partisan House Bill is a direct attack on SNAP.

Download Now

FACT SHEET

Who Pays? A Report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

Arizona is a "low tax state" overall but not for families living in poverty who pay the sixth highest effective tax rate in the nation.

Download Now

FACT SHEET

Risking the Future of Education in Arizona: How Prop 126 Threatens the State Budget

Arizonans will vote this November on Proposition 126, a proposed constitutional amendment that would prohibit state and local governments from ever imposing the sales tax on services. If enacted, Proposition 126 will jeopardize funding for education, healthcare and other state priorities because it would prevent Arizona from changing its sales tax law to adjust to our changing economy in which people are increasingly spending more of their income on services than goods.

Download Now

FACT SHEET

How Are Other States Reinvesting in Public Schools?

As the Governor and lawmakers at the State Capitol attempt to find solutions to Arizona's teacher shortage crisis and the other ramifications that come with our public schools having $1.1 billion less in state funding than a decade ago, the legislatures in several other states have addressed similar situations by raising taxes.

Download Now

FACT SHEET

Lessons from Past Promises for Public School Funding

In 1998, then Governor Hull and the legislature passed the Students FIRST legislation with no reliable revenue source being identified. Instead, it was financed from the state general fund, relying on growth from the economy. Not surprisingly, after a few years, the program went underfunded. It provides a valuable lesson for today's legislature as it considers funding teacher raises without a new, sustainable revenue source.

Download Now

FACT SHEET

AZ Lawmakers Should Plan for Reduced Federal Funding When Responding to Federal Tax Changes

Conforming to the recent federal tax legislation could result in a net increase to Arizona's General Fund revenues by an estimated $133 million. Arizona should not buy into the approach of directing these additional revenues toward more tax cuts.

Download Now

FACT SHEET

Tax Cut for Millionaires Means Less Money for Teachers, Public Schools

HB2528 will provide 183 millionaires in Arizona who each make more than $5 million a year an average tax cut of $28, 415 on their capital gains from the sale of capital assets, such as stocks, bonds, and real estate. This tax cut will reduce state revenues by $23 million by fiscal year 2023 while critical needs, like increasing teacher pay, go unresolved.

Download Now

FACT SHEET

The Fair Share Campaign

The Fair Share Campaign seeks to clean up Arizona's tax code and eliminate the special interest tax breaks so that we will be better able to invest in those priorities that benefit all of us, like quality public schools in every neighborhood, affordable college tuition, good roads and other infrastructure.

Download Now

FACT SHEET

2018 - In Search of a State Budget that Creates Opportunity for All - Questions and Answers About Arizona's Budget and Taxes

State budgets and taxes are the foundation for achieving our common priorities that will lead to more quality jobs and a more robust economy for all of us. This publication provides information and analysis to help all Arizonans better understand how the state budget and tax decisions made by the legislature and Governor impact our ability to achieve greater economic prosperity for all.

Download Now

FACT SHEET

Fact Sheet - A Tax Cut for Military Retirees Leaves Most Veterans Behind

SB1167 and a similar bill in the House, HB2236, provides a tax cut for military retirees who receive a military pension, but leaves out 90% of Arizona veterans while reducing state revenues by $15 million.

Download Now

FACT SHEET

What are the Neighbors Doing? A Comparative Look at How Nevada and Utah are Investing to Grow Their Economies, 2017

For several years, tax cuts have been the tool of choice that many states have used to try to make themselves more competitive and to attract new businesses and jobs to their state. However, many of those same states are now focusing their attention on investing in K-12 public education, higher education and infrastructure.

Download Now

FACT SHEET

Why Arizona Should Care About the Federal Budget, 2017

For several years, tax cuts have been the tool of choice that many states have used to try to make themselves more competitive and to attract new businesses and jobs to their state. However, many of those same states are now focusing their attention on investing in K-12 public education, higher education and infrastructure.

Download Now

FACT SHEET

Kansas Tax Cuts Failed to Spur Jobs and Economic Growth, 2017

For several years, tax cuts have been the tool of choice that many states have used to try to make themselves more competitive and to attract new businesses and jobs to their state. However, many of those same states are now focusing their attention on investing in K-12 public education, higher education and infrastructure.

Download Now

FACT SHEET

Q&A Arizona's State Budget and Taxes: What Every Arizonan need to Know About Growing Our Economy, 2017

For several years, tax cuts have been the tool of choice that many states have used to try to make themselves more competitive and to attract new businesses and jobs to their state. However, many of those same states are now focusing their attention on investing in K-12 public education, higher education and infrastructure.

Download Now

FACT SHEET

Arizona’s Tax Collections Are Not Growing Fast Enough to Re-Invest in Public Eduction

Every Arizona child deserves an excellent education, but if the plan to increase investments in our public schools relies solely on population growth and uncertain economic growth, then we are destined to leave many children behind. Arizona needs a real plan that restores state revenues to re-invest in public education.

Download Now



Graphs and Charts

We bring together the voices and knowledge of people from throughout Arizona — millennials and seniors, employers and educators, entrepreneurs and rural leaders, arts advocates and business leaders — to advocate for a long term vision that will raise the economic power of all Arizonans

Blog and News

Unable to display Facebook posts.
Show error

Error: Error validating access token: Session has expired on Friday, 01-Feb-19 09:41:04 PST. The current time is Wednesday, 17-Jul-19 17:37:14 PDT.
Type: OAuthException
Code: 190
Subcode: 463
Please refer to our Error Message Reference.

Take Action

Help us build and advocate for a strong Arizona

Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events

We hope you can join us at one of our upcoming events.

Invite A Speaker
Invite a speaker

Request a guest from the Arizona Center for Economic Progress to speak on a panel, at a workshop, conference, class or any other event across the state.

We welcome the opportunity to be a part of your event. Please fill out the form at the link below to give us more information about your event and we’ll get back to you soon.

Invite a Speaker

Take Action Collage Take Action Collage

Contact

The Arizona Center for Economic Progress
3030 N. 3rd St., Suite 650
Phoenix, AZ 85012
602.266.0707
AZEconCenter.org


Building a Future that Works for All Arizonans