New data shows that inflation continues to rise for consumers across the country, and in response, Arizona’s gubernatorial Republican nominee Kari Lake slammed her Democrat opponent Katie Hobbs for not supporting more tax cuts in the state.
“Today’s skyrocketing inflation data is another tragic reminder of the damage Democrats like Katie Hobbs and Joe Biden have done to Arizona’s economy. Arizona families can’t keep up with the soaring costs. I have a plan to provide some immediate relief by eliminating taxes on groceries and rent, which Katie Hobbs obviously opposes because she’d rather tax you than help you. It’s unfathomable that Katie Hobbs wants Arizonans to pay tax on top of these already crushing prices, but not surprising coming from the party of Joe Biden,” Lake said in a statement emailed to the Arizona Sun Times.
The Sun Times reached out to the Katie Hobbs Campaign for a comment but did not receive a response.
As reported by Bloomberg, grocery prices rose in September by 13 percent across the nation compared to the same time last year. Notably, food items like butter, flour, soups, frozen vegetables, and cereal have seen an annual increase percentage higher than ever recorded. Even away from home, the index for food at schools and employee sites jumped 45 percent compared to last month, which was caused by the expiration of a pandemic-era program providing free meals to public school students.
In total, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the Consumer Price Index rose by 0.4 percent in September, which is 8.2 percent higher than last year, but down 0.1 percent from August.
For Democrats and Republicans alike, inflation is an important issue to tackle, as most voters see it as a significant problem. According to a CBS News poll, 78 percent of respondents said inflation was a top issue, and Republicans appear to be doing well among voters who think this way.
As reported by The Sun Times, Lake’s plan for economic relief includes eliminating the taxes on groceries and rent and making Arizona’s economy competitive by rolling back business regulations and buffing the state’s workforce.
As for Hobbs, her plans do include tax cuts, but ones less inclusive than what Lake proposed. As governor, Hobbs intends to eliminate the sales tax on diapers, baby formula, and feminine hygiene products while implementing a sales tax holiday on school supplies and a state-level child tax credit. Hobbs is also on the record, saying she has no plans to raise taxes for Arizonans.
However, Hobbs has refused to sign the Americans for Tax Reform pledge to oppose “any and all” efforts to raise taxes. Hobbs’s voting record when serving in the State Senate also paints the picture of someone for tax raises.
The Arizona Free Enterprise Club shared that in 2015, Hobbs opposed HB 2001, which was later passed into law to protect taxpayers from paying more taxes caused by inflation. In 2018, Hobbs voted for HB 2166, a $32 alternative fuel vehicle license tax that was later repealed. She also co-sponsored SB 1316, which could have doubled the gas tax and would have resulted in one of the biggest tax hikes in Arizona’s history had it passed.
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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Kari Lake” by Kari Lake. Photo “Katie Hobbs” by New Life Center. Background Photo “Arizona Capitol” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.