(The Center Square)– Gov. Katie Hobbs announced a portal for Arizonans to track their family tax rebate status on Tuesday, but Republicans said that she originally opposed the credit.
“I was never opposed to the tax rebate,” Hobbs told The Center Square in a news conference on Wednesday morning.
“It was part of the bipartisan budget that we negotiated. If you remember back to my executive budget, we had a tax credit, I was happy to come to agreement on a way that we could put money back in the pockets of Arizonans, and again, it was part of the negotiated budget,” the governor continued.
Hobbs did seem to oppose the specific rebate throughout the budget negotiation process earlier this year, but she did back a type of child tax credit, Capitol Media Services reported. According to the report, she preferred a permanent credit for low-income families, totaling at $100 per child.
Republicans got ahead of the governor’s announcement by holding a news conference two weeks ago, ahead of when the payments started going out on Oct. 30. Now, they are saying Hobbs should not be taking credit for the rebate.
“Seeing lots of tweets pointing out Governor Hobbs opposed these rebates and did not want them at all,” state Rep. Steve Montenegro, R-Avondale, posted to X, formerly known as Twitter. “I choose to accept this video as her way of admitting she was wrong to oppose tax relief for Arizona families and is glad the [Republicans] got it done!”
Senate President Pro Tempore T.J. Shope, R-Coolidge, posted to X that this was a product of Arizona Freedom Caucus demands.
“I know the Governor wanted no part of this tax rebate but thankfully, the [Arizona Senate Republican] & [Arizona House Republican] caucuses, led by the [Arizona Freedom Caucus], stood strong and demanded it be part of the State Budget. When we stick together, we can provide positive things for Arizona’s families,” Shope posted.
Hobbs posted a video of her touting the credit, and her photo is on the rebate portal website.
“As someone who, at times, relied on assistance to get by, I know that every penny counts,” she said in a statement on Tuesday. “I made a promise that when I took office, I would take every opportunity I had to make it easier for Arizonans to provide for their families and lower the cost of living. I am so pleased to be able to deliver this relief with the Arizona Families Tax Rebate.”
The one-time payments do not have an income limit, and it is sourced from the state budget surplus. The surplus is expected to become a deficit next year, according to Joint Legislative Budget Committee projections. They will go out to an estimated 750,000 Arizona families with $250 per dependent under 17 and $100 for any dependent that’s an adult, The Center Square reported.