17. Economic estimates commission; appropriation limitation; powers and duties of commission
Section 17. (1) The economic estimates commission shall be established by law, with a membership of not to exceed three members, and shall determine and publish prior to February 1 of each year the estimated total personal income for the following fiscal year. By April 1 of each year the commission shall determine and publish a final estimate of the total personal income for the following fiscal year, which estimate shall be used in computing the appropriations limit for the legislature. For the purposes of this section, "total personal income" means the dollar amount that will be reported as total income by persons for the state of Arizona by the U. S. department of commerce or its successor agency.
(2) For purposes of this section, "state revenues":
(a) Include all monies, revenues, fees, fines, penalties, funds, tuitions, property and receipts of any kind whatsoever received by or for the account of the state or any of its agencies, departments, offices, boards, commissions, authorities, councils and insitutions except as provided in this subsection.
(b) Do not include:
(i) Any amounts or property received from the issuance or incurrence of bonds or other lawful long-term obligations issued or incurred for a specific purpose. For the purpose of this subdivision long-term obligations shall not include warrants issued in the ordinary course of operation or registered for payment by the state.
(ii) Any amounts or property received as payment of dividends or interest.
(iii) Any amounts or property received by the state in the capacity of trustee, custodian or agent.
(iv) Any amounts received from employers for deposit in the unemployment compensation fund or any successor fund.
(v) Any amounts collected by the state for distribution to counties, cities and towns without specific restrictions on the use of the funds other than the restrictions included in section 14 of this article.
(vi) Any amounts received as grants, aid, contributions or gifts of any type, except voluntary contributions or other contributions received directly or indirectly in lieu of taxes.
(vii) Any amounts received as the proceeds from the sale, lease or redemption of property or as consideration for services or the use of property.
(viii) Any amounts received pursuant to a transfer during a fiscal year from another agency, department, office, board, commission, authority, council or institution of the state which were included as state revenues for such fiscal year or which are excluded from state revenue under other provisions of this subsection.
(ix) Any amounts attributable to an increase in the rates of tax subsequent to July 1, 1979 on vehicle users, gasoline and diesel fuel which were levied on July 1, 1979.
(x) Any amounts received during a fiscal year as refunds, reimbursements or other recoveries of amounts appropriated which were applied against the appropriation limitation for such fiscal year or which were excluded from state revenues under other provisions of this subsection.
(3) The legislature shall not appropriate for any fiscal year state revenues in excess of seven per cent of the total personal income of the state for that fiscal year as determined by the economic estimates commission. The limitation may be exceeded upon affirmative vote of two-thirds of the membership of each house of the legislature on each measure that appropriates amounts in excess of the limitation. If the legislature authorizes a specific dollar amount of appropriation for more than one fiscal year, for the purpose of measuring such appropriation against the appropriation limitation, the entire amount appropriated shall be applied against the limitation in the first fiscal year during which any expenditures are authorized, and in no other fiscal year.
(4) In order to permit the transference of governmental functions or funding responsibilities between the federal and state governments and between the state government and its political subdivisions without abridging the purpose of this section to limit state appropriations to a percentage of total personal income, the legislature shall provide for adjustments of the appropriation percentage limitation consistent with the following principles:
(a) If the federal government assumes all or any part of the cost of providing a governmental function which the state previously funded in whole or in part, the appropriation limitation shall be commensurately decreased.
(b) If the federal government requires the state to assume all or any part of the cost of providing a governmental function the appropriation limitation shall be commensurately increased.
(c) If the state assumes all or any part of the cost of providing a governmental function and the state requires the political subdivision, which previously funded all or any part of the cost of the function to commensurately decrease its tax revenues, the appropriation percentage limitation shall be commensurately increased.
(d) If a political subdivision assumes all or any part of the cost of providing a governmental function previously funded in whole or in part by the state, the appropriation percentage limitation shall be commensurately decreased.
Any adjustments made pursuant to this subsection shall be made for the first fiscal year of the assumption of the cost. Such adjustment shall remain in effect for each subsequent fiscal year.