/ Modified may 31, 2013 12:59 p.m.

One-Cent Sales Tax Expiring

Temporary levy brought in $900M yearly for education

Arizona's temporary one-cent sales tax to boost education funding will expire Friday.

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"Businesses in Arizona know that they have to change the tax rate, and if they don't, a citizen should let them know that they need to change their computer system," said Robert Medler, spokesman for the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce. "I would encourage everyone to check their receipt, whether it be at a restaurant, a retail store or for a new car."

State voters approved the three-year tax in a May 2010 special election, by 64 percent to 36 percent. The tax brought more than $900 million a year into the state's coffers and helped the state avoid bigger budget cuts during the height of the recession.

Despite the extra funding, the Legislature cut educational funding for fiscal 2010-11 and 2011-12. Last year, it restored some of the cuts and is expected to spend more in the next fiscal year.

An effort last year to get voters to extend the tax permanently to pay for education failed at the polls in November.

Gov. Jan Brewer was chief proponent of the original measure, saying she risked her political career in pushing it and promising that it would be temporary. Brewer planned to celebrate Friday's expiration with an event at the Capitol.

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