Phonically, it’s probably not the headline they intended: “Board trying to bring jobs to Arizona.” But there is something to it.
In the article that followed the headline, it was reported that Arizona’s new Commerce Authority will make recommendations to the legislature next year to help the state economy “specifically in the areas of aerospace and defense, science and technology, solar and renewable energy, and small business and entrepreneurship.”
Without legislative changes, Gov. Brewer’s budget director said that a large number of jobs Arizona expects to gain over the next eight years will be low paying positions, such as food preparers and cashiers. It ‘s unclear how he knows this.
To help the economy, the legislative “change” with the most impact would be one of direction; away from higher taxes. Since 2009, in the face of massive budget deficits, Arizona businesses and families have been asked to contribute substantially more in both property ($250 million annually) and sales ($1 billion annually) taxes.
A better course of action would have been drastic reductions in government spending. Not only would that have signaled to the market that Arizona is serious about maintaining a pristine credit rating, it would have also signaled that Arizona values its $250 billion economy as much as its $10 billion budget.
There has only been one meeting, but it causes us great concern that the new Commerce Authority intends to recommend policy changes to enhance only certain sectors of the economy. Subsidizing certain activities will lead to more of that activity, but less of other activities. Tax credits for the bioscience industry come from non-bioscience industry taxpayers. Take advantage of them long enough, and there will be fewer subsidies to go around. People will relocate to where they are treated fairly.
Gov. Brewer offered a nugget of hope that if the Authority (of which she is chairman) pushes policies that favor some at the expense of others, she’d be resistant.
“I will never take for granted the companies that are here, those that stuck with us through the bad times and the good times.”