Business & Job Creation

Businesses need a friendly and fair business environment so they can compete, innovate, and create jobs. We’re keeping politicians from playing favorites by offering special deals and tax breaks to the favored few.

<p>Businesses need a friendly and fair business environment so they can compete, innovate, and create jobs. We’re keeping politicians from playing favorites by offering special deals and tax breaks to the favored few.</p>

Arizona’s economy seems to be headed for a long, gradual recovery. Policymakers have the opportunity now to set the stage with thoughtful decisions about what kind of infrastructure will support future economic growth.

A recent story in the Arizona Republic described a luncheon sponsored by the Salt River Project and the East Valley Partnership to discuss future infrastructure needs. It is clear from the story that many policymakers understand that additional transportation options will be key to Arizona’s prosperity.

Arizona’s state constitution was modeled after the founding document of the state of Washington. Over the past century, both states have frequently looked to each other for policy ideas. In Washington’s general election last week, that state’s voters were inspired by Arizona and approved a constitutional measure requiring two-thirds of the legislature to pass any tax increase. Now, perhaps Arizona could look to Washington.

In choosing where to live, Arizonans generally consider school district boundaries, relative property tax rates, crime statistics, and the like. One factor that ought to figure into the decision is which utility company supplies the power.
 
Two of the biggest players, Salt River Project (SRP) and Arizona Public Service Co. (APS), are on divergent paths. Ordinarily, private companies like APS are more nimble and responsive to market forces than their public counterparts. But in Arizona, the converse is true, at least in terms of renewable energy.
 

Since 2007, Arizona has lost 300,000 jobs, more than 10 percent of total employment. So it’s understandable our elected officials are anxious to bring more jobs to the state. Governor Jan Brewer and other state officials want to create a Commerce Authority armed with $25 million for grants to businesses as enticements to locate here. They often point to the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) as a model. A close look at the TEF, though, raises questions about how effective it really is.

Imagine you’ve got some money to invest. Would you rather invest it yourself, or ask a friend with a spotty track record of financial success who is always chasing the newest, potentially short-lived fad?

Do you have a love of fabric, furniture, and a talent for decorating? In a few states, unless you have a license, it’s tough luck if you want to start a decorating business. Most states actually have laws that limit the use of the title “interior designer.”

Let’s say you want to start a business. You scrape together some start-up capital. And let’s say you are able to eventually hire 15 people and are able to pay them above the median wage in your community.

Now let’s say a company moves in across the street and hires 15 workers on the same terms. The main difference is that they have more money to invest in their company right away than you did. There’s another big difference, too. They will get the benefit of a big tax cut that you won’t get.

While the Goldwater Institute's legal challenge to the CityNorth subsidy moves to the Court of Appeals, one issue remains before the trial court that upheld the subsidy.

Not content merely to demand $97.4 million of taxpayer money, the developers now are seeking hundreds of thousands more for their attorneys fees from the Goldwater Institute.

As Ronald Reagan famously noted, Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States. Why is it, then, that every year we see more proposed government regulations that make it harder for small businesses to open and operate?

The local Super Bowl Host Committee shoveled out about $17 million for the weeklong Super Bowl party in Phoenix and Glendale. The private sector, including the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and the Thunderbirds charity funded over 80 percent of these Super expenses.

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