Poll: Steve Farley out-of-touch with voters on tax reform

PHOENIX — State Senator Steve Farley opposed the tax reform package signed into law by President Donald Trump, but, according to a new poll conducted for the New York Times, that’s not in line with how the American people see it.

The poll, released on Monday, was conducted by SurveyMonkey for the New York Times. It found that the 2017 tax reform legislation increased in popularity after it went into effect, with 51 percent of Americans now supportive compared to only 46 percent last month.

Support for the legislation “has grown even among Democrats,” the newspaper reported. SurveyMonkey’s chief research officer added, “Public opinion is moving in the direction of this bill . . . Considering where it was, it is dramatically different.”

In November 2017, Farley tweeted that the legislation “helps the rich while slashing benefits for teachers spending own [money] on supplies.”

Actress Jenna Fischer made a similar claim the following month, alleging that the tax deduction for teachers who purchase school supplies for their own classrooms (the ‘slashed benefit’ that Farley cited) was not included in the bill. It was, in fact, included — and Fischer deleted the erroneous claim soon after, issuing a lengthy apology “because, I believe accuracy is important,” she tweeted.

Farley remained opposed the tax reform package in December.

“Our efforts to stop the rise of economic inequality in our state got a lot tougher with the passage of the federal tax bill through the US Senate last week, which will help the rich get dramatically richer at the expense of the rest of us,” he wrote. “Thanks to the federal tax bill, what we have already seen in Arizona is what we will face across the nation.”

However, families across the country already have begun to benefit from the legislation in the form of tax relief and pay increases. The president of an aerospace company based in Tucson near Farley’s legislative district confirmed in an interview with the National Association of Manufacturers that the tax reform package will empower the business “to invest in more equipment and hire more people.”

Arizona Public Service (APS) announced in January that the utility will be passing along the benefits of tax reform to its customers across the state by seeking a $119 million rate decrease. Arizona Corporation Commissioner Justin Olson is supporting such efforts. Tucson Electric Power also announced in February that the southern Arizona utility is looking at ways to do the same.

A version of this article appears at Arizona Democrats Exposed.