Good economic news in Arizona is hard to come by these days. The state unemployment rate has been at 9.6 percent for three months in a row. But on the positive side, the Wall Street Journal recently published an article worthy of a smile. It reported Amazon.com has signed the biggest lease, by square footage, in Arizona’s history. PayPal also recently leased an office building in Chandler. Both companies are expanding and creating jobs for Arizonans.
Why did these companies choose to expand to Arizona? Barry Broome, president of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, pointed out that key business costs such as unemployment insurance and workers compensation are lower here than in Los Angeles, a city currently with similar rents. That helps make Arizona more business – and job –friendly.
The lesson here is that costs matter. When it costs more to run a business, employers are less able to expand and hire new employees, and might even shrink their companies. That means fewer jobs for the rest of us.
Taxes and government regulations make it more expensive and difficult to run a business. So, if we really want to see more opportunity and jobs in Arizona, we have to cut taxes and minimize regulation. That’s the simple, unadulterated truth.
Byron Schlomach, Ph.D., is an economist and director of the Center for Economic Prosperity at the Goldwater Institute.
Goldwater Institute: How to Restructure Arizona's Tax Code: A Smarter, Flatter Tax Plan to Create Jobs
Wall Street Journal: Phoenix Rising Like, Well, a Phoenix
Arizona Department of Commerce: Arizona Workforce Employment Report