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.
Subsidies for private business activity in various forms have become an increasingly popular use of government power. The federal government has subsidized farming for decades. It has also provided for federally-guaranteed loans to large employers such as Chrysler and airline companies. Favored industries such as those engaged in research and development also receive income tax credits and deductions. State governments have acted similarly, providing in kind benefits such as specifically targeted infrastructure as well as direct subsidies and tax breaks.
For most people, Christmas comes but once a year. But for some politically powerful retailers and commercial developers, Christmas comes every day, thanks to massive giveaways by local Valley governments. Guess who gets to pick up the tab for such generosity? Not he man in the red suit, but the taxpayers.
Ireland was one of the worlds most dynamic economies during the 1990s. Other regions, including Arizona, want to emulate Irelands success. Unfortunately, two of Arizona's most vocal advocates of the Irish model, Gov. Janet Napolitano and Arizona State University President Michael Crow, have learned the wrong lessons from Irelands success. If Arizona follows their recommendations the state will not achieve the economic luck of the Irish.
What could Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and the five City Council members have been thinking when they authorized a $100 million tax subsidy for CityNorth, a private development planned for northeast Phoenix?
Prop. 202, the minimum wage initiative, would raise the statewide minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.75 per hour. Proponents don't talk much about the other provisions in the proposition, which is understandable. There's some pretty nasty stuff in the small print.
The legal minimum wage, in principle, is government interference with our individual rights to contract with each other. If I need a job and you want some work done, we should be able to voluntarily enter into an employment contract with mutually agreed upon terms.
For Larry Browning, health insurance is the most consistent and most frustrating cost of his business.
In the last 12 years, the president of Discover Sunriver Vacation Rentals said he's had to pay 15 percent more per year for employee health insurance premiums.
He now pays $75,000 per year on benefits for his 25 full-time employees.
Convinced the grass is greener, some Tucson business leaders and public officials recently went to Austin to study its best practices for generating growth.
According to a series of articles in the Tucson Citizen, the Texas capital has "rhythm and synergy," a cool music scene and a hip downtown.
Local policymakers fear Tucson lacks a "vibrant core" and will never attract "creative class" workers that supposedly drive economic growth.
If only we were more like Austin, they opine.
SCOTTSDALE - Scottsdale is betting taxpayer money - $217 million - on incentives for retail and redevelopment projects that it expects will pay off over 20 years to generate nearly a half-billion dollars in city revenue.
SkySong, the costliest incentive project at $125 million, is the latest investment for the city. It is wagering that the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center will revive Scottsdale's sagging southern flank.
A state economic program that attracts jobs and business investment to rural and urban areas with high unemployment and poverty rates is facing extinction because of some strong opposition in the state Legislature.
Some conservative Republicans and Democrats in the state Senate oppose extending the state's enterprise zone program because it offers special incentives and tax breaks to specific businesses.
Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon has said the multimillion dollar bonds up for voter approval will "propel us into the future, and it will be a future unlike any we predicted."
Unfortunately, the future is not likely to be as rosy as predicted. This year's bond package will cost taxpayers $1 billion more than advertised and has the potential to damage our economy.