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>

Christopher Conover discusses corporate subsidies and economic development on the Arizona Spolight with Clint Bolick and more.

Tom and Elizabeth Preston wanted to open a tattoo studio in Tempe. The City gave them the go-ahead and the Prestons invested $30,000 in their studio. But Tempe revoked the permit after a neighborhood group complained that it didn't want a tattoo shop in the area. That's when the Goldwater Institute got involved, representing Tom and Elizabeth in their fight against Tempe. Shortly after oral arguments in the case, Tom Preston spoke to Fox 10 News.

A man who wants to put a tattoo parlor in a Tempe strip mall said Monday his business is no worse than some of his would-be neighbors.

Tom Preston said a bail bonds business, liquor store and lingerie shop are in the strip mall where the city of Tempe refuses to allow him to open.

"We don't sell liquor, we don't bail prisoners out of jail and we don't sell adult novelties," said Preston. He said it's "not fair" that city officials have categorized his business as giving the "perception" of drawing criminals.


Goldwater Institute attorney Carrie Ann Sitren spent an hour on KFNX's "Main Street Out Loud" show with Rudi K. where she discussed Preston v. Hallman (the Tempe tattoo case), just hours after a judge heard oral arguments.

Listen to it here.

ABC News 20/20 co-anchor John Stossel was the featured speaker at a Goldwater Institute Speaker Series luncheon on May 16. ABC 15 News stopped by the event and asked Mr. Stossel why he was so excited to be there.

A few years back I might have been able to put a wacky spin on this story. Something with a headline like, "Right-wing think tank comes to the aid of left-wing business."

That would have been fun.

It's just not true anymore. The enterprising couple being represented by the conservative Goldwater Institute in their fight against the Tempe City Council are the owners of a mainstream business: A tattoo parlor.


Phoenix--Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Robert H. Oberbillig gave Tom and Elizabeth Preston an opening round victory in their battle to open a tattoo studio in Tempe.

Case background:

The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) is established under the Arizona Constitution with limited power to regulate utility rates, but over the years it has expanded its powers beyond its constitutional jurisdiction. The ACC recently adopted sweeping new rules requiring utilities to derive a specified share of their power from alternative sources. The rules have resulted in rate surcharges to residential and business customers that will total millions of dollars.

"I keep thinking about our first lawyer who told us to not to fight the city's decision to refuse our permit because it would cost too much and we had no way of winning. We're just so thankful to Goldwater.

Tom Preston owns a reputable tattoo studio in Mesa, Arizona and like many entrepreneurs he sought to expand his business with his wife Elizabeth, by opening a new shop in Tempe. After acquiring the permit, the Preston's signed a five year lease and invested $30,000 in the property. Then a local neighborhood group sought to deny the Prestons their economic liberty by appealing to the City Council. Based on negative stereotypes and personal opinions rather than hard evidence and facts, Mayor Hugh Hallman and the Council voted unanimously to override their own zoning officials and denied the permit. The Prestons were left with a long-term lease and stood to lose a significant capital investment.


Case background:

Under Arizona law and the federal Constitution, building fees are supposed to be limited to the costs for “necessary” services—such as roads and sewers—that new residential developments impose upon a community. But many Arizona cities have begun looking at impact fees as new revenue sources, using them to fund unrelated facilities. Across the Valley, impact fees are soaring even as homeowners struggle to pay their mortgages and one of Arizona’s most important industries is on the ropes.