Fair and equitable taxation is key to economic freedom and prosperity. Rules that favor a few special interests create an un-level playing field and put other businesses at a disadvantage.
The Government Property Lease Excise Tax (GPLET) is a case in point. It allows cities to take title to land and buildings and then lease them back to a private company for a nominal fee. These businesses then pay a fraction--often one tenth--of what their property taxes would otherwise be.
GPLETs (pronounced gyplet as in, That guy gypped me!) were sold to lawmakers twelve years ago as a tool cities needed to attract big businesses for economic revitalization.
According to the Maricopa County Treasurers office, owners of the Renaissance Square in downtown Phoenix would have paid roughly $1.7 million more in property taxes in 2007 if the property had not been built under a GPLET. The small and medium-sized independent businesses of Arizona--the companies that employ the vast majority of Arizonans--don't receive GPLET tax breaks.
If property taxes are too high for multi-million dollar companies, then they are too high for mom and pop shops, too. GPLET tax breaks should be eliminated and the property tax lowered for all businesses.
Michelle Bolton is the Arizona state director for the National Federation of Independent Business.
Goldwater Institute: Corporate Tax Reform: How to Woo Business Without Spending a Dime