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.
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.
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.
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.
The last time I debated Grady Gammage Jr., he predicted if voters approved Proposition 207, the Private Property Rights Protection Act, it would spell disaster for urban planning.
Two-thirds of the voters disagreed, and we now have far greater protection of property rights--with none of the sky-is-falling calamities Gammage predicted.
The City of Phoenix provided a nearly $100 million subsidy for the CityNorth project. The night before it opened, Clint Bolick went on 12 News to talk about it.
Phoenix--The Goldwater Institute Center for Constitutional Litigation today filed a special action in the Arizona Court of Appeals challenging the Arizona Corporation Commission's Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff Rules and the accompanying initial rate surcharges.
With Arizonans reeling from high gasoline prices and other economic woes, how do our statewide government officials respond? By slapping on a surcharge in essence, a new energy tax---that adds one million dollars per month to residential utility bills and millions more for businesses.
The officials who imposed the tax are not the governor or legislators, but members of an obscure body with limited powers but grandiose ambitions: the Arizona Corporation Commission.