For many, the name Hugh brings to mind the disarming grin of British actor Hugh Grant. But today another Hugh should be in the spotlight, Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman.
According to Wikipedia, the name Hugh means bright in mind and spirit" or "thoughtful. Mayor Hallman's recent comments on fiscal policy were certainly all three.
During a recent radio interview on whether the proposed US Airways-Delta airline might move its headquarters to Atlanta, the mayor said he would not try to use tax incentives or subsidies to keep the airline in Tempe. He argued such a policy would bankrupt the city and interfere with whatever good business decisions US Airways needs to make.
Hear hear, Mr. Mayor.
What Tempe can do to make itself as attractive as possible for the airline (or any other business), is become an oasis of economic freedom. It could lower its property tax, currently the 23rd highest among cities and towns in Arizona, and rein in spending, which climbed 14 percent last year.
These steps will attract businesses to Tempe and keep the local economy humming.
Noah Clarke is an economist with the Goldwater Institute Center for Economic Prosperity.
-Goldwater Institute: Corporate Tax Reform: How to Woo Business without Spending A Dime
-Heritage Foundation: The Impact of Government Spending on Economic Growth
-USA Today: US Airways proposes to merge with Delta