Arizona lawmakers worried about illegal immigration have paired an old idea, an anti-immigrant wall, with a new one: a state tax on bank wire transfers to and from other countries. The state’s House Appropriation Committee has approved an 8 percent tax on all out-of-country wire transfers, with the proceeds earmarked for building a wall at the border.
Extrapolating from the estimated $20 billion that is wired from Arizona to Mexico each year, the measure’s backers say it could raise up to $80 million annually. They argue that the levy would recover some of the tax revenue lost from illegals who work off the books.
Yet the punitive tax would also hit law-abiding residents and citizens. Maybe Arizonans just don’t like wire transfers.