Tax Reform

Americans are a hard-working bunch and should keep what they earn. Our ideas for tax reform reduce the burden of taxes while ensuring governments have the resources to focus on core responsibilities.

<p>Americans are a hard-working bunch and should keep what they earn. Our ideas for tax reform reduce the burden of taxes while ensuring governments have the resources to focus on core responsibilities. </p>

Goldwater Institute senior economist Stephen Slivinski went on 3TV to analyze GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan.

Watch it here

PHOENIX — In Arizona and across the country, small business owners and entrepreneurs spend billions of dollars and countless hours complying with regulations. But a new recommendation from the Goldwater Institute could offer these businesses help – and boost the jobs outlook along the way.

Excessive regulation is needlessly destructive to the economy and job creation – and the Goldwater Institute’s annual Legislative Report Card shows that elected officials in both parties fail to recognize the problem.

Months after the housing bubble burst in 2007, Arizona passed a state budget that many knew was out of balance the day it was passed. By summer of 2007, there was even talk of having a special session to fix the situation.

When state legislatures reconvene in January, a priority for many will be passing some kind of “jobs” bill. What form that might take is open to debate, but there are already lessons to be learned on what not to do.

In 2009 the Arizona legislature, like many other states, passed a bill providing “tax incentives” (AKA subsidies) for renewable-energy industries. The legislature partly responded to pressure from those who thought they’d found the next big thing in "green jobs." It also followed on the heels of a new solar panel factory in Tucson, Arizona.

Despite Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the national credit rating, the federal government’s rating is still better than Arizona’s.

Our rating, AA-, is the same as Kentucky, Michigan, and New Jersey. Not exactly state’s that are pictures of economic health. In fact, 44 states have a better credit rating than Arizona, including all of our regional competitors: Colorado (AA), Nevada (AA), New Mexico (AA+), Texas (AA+), and Utah (AAA). Only two states in the country have worse ratings, including California, which has the lowest rating (A-).

It’s a simple, powerful idea: Let people keep more of their own money, and they’ll put it to work in thousands of ways, boosting the economy and setting the stage for long-term growth. Goldwater’s policy research shows how broad, low taxes can drive long-term prosperity.

Really, it's past time the issue of tax incentives for developers is resolved.

It would have been better if Arizona's municipalities had just understood the inadequacy of the state tax code and worked out reasonable arrangements to share revenues.

We shouldn't have had to go to court.

But that never happened. If cities thought they had an advantage, they would exploit it. They would not compromise.

A lawsuit filed last week by the Goldwater Institute may be the beginning of the end of the counterproductive and increasingly idiotic practice of municipal tax incentives.

The Legislature has been trying to rein in the practice. But it shouldn't be up to the Legislature. The Arizona Constitution plainly prohibits such subsidies.

The institute sued to stop Phoenix from providing the tax abatement committed to CityNorth, a vast, upscale shopping complex going up at the intersection of the 101 Highway and 56th Street.

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