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A tax credit to reduce government red tape

November 4, 2014

Excessive regulation is needlessly destructive to the economy and job creation – and the Goldwater Institute’s annual Legislative Report Card shows that elected officials in both parties fail to recognize the problem.

 Since 2003, the report card has measured the voting patterns of state legislators on bills that offer new regulations. Year after year, the average legislator votes to advance more regulation rather than curtail it. But when tens of thousands of Arizonans are looking for work, we no longer have the luxury of tolerating excessive regulation—if we ever did.

The fundamental problem is this: Government does not have any incentive to stop over-regulating. But there is a powerful way to give government the missing incentive it needs – through a regulatory tax credit.

Here’s how it would work: A regulatory tax credit would allow taxpayers to reduce their taxes in an amount equal to the cost of complying with excessive regulation by the government, providing a powerful incentive for government to avoid and reduce regulations.

By empowering taxpayers to align government’s insatiable hunger for revenue with a limited government regulatory policy, tax credits such as these could finally reduce government red tape and let businesses flourish.

Nick Dranias holds the Clarence J. and Katherine P. Duncan Chair for Constitutional Government and is director of the Joseph and Dorothy Donnelly Moller Center for Constitutional Government at the Goldwater Institute.

Learn More:

Goldwater Institute: 2011 Legislative Report Card for Arizona’s Fiftieth Legislature, First Regular Session

Goldwater Institute: Cities can boost business with more freedom

Goldwater Institute: Susie’s lemonade stand not welcome in Phoenix



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