By Mary Jo Pitzl / The Arizona Republic
PHOENIX - Arizona last year could have collected $10 billion -- an amount greater than the entire state budget -- if it had removed dozens of exemptions to the state's sales tax.
People don't pay state sales tax on a host of goods, including horse vitamins and motion-picture equipment. They also don't pay a tax on services, such as haircuts and massages.
As state lawmakers work on a budget for fiscal 2013, the prospect of removing exemptions -- or closing tax loopholes as critics call it -- might seem an easy fix for a state that faces looming deficits. A temporary sales tax that raises about $1 billion a year expires at the end of the next fiscal year, in June 2013.