AAED 2017 Policy Priorities
Monday, November 28, 2016
Posted by: Cori Garcia
“Expanding Economic Development Programs to Make Arizona More Competitive”
AAED supports programs and policies that encourage businesses to expand and locate in Arizona.
AAED urges the Legislature to support legislation that enhances Arizona’s competitive position in attracting and retaining high wage jobs.
ENSURE A QUALIFIED WORKFORCE AND WORKFORCE PIPELINE
AAED supports policies and appropriate funding for education programs that result in a thriving qualified Arizona workforce. Continuing legislative support for high-quality educational systems provides Arizona with an additional asset in attracting companies and talent. A qualified workforce will support Arizona’s competitiveness in the retention and attraction of quality high wage jobs.
LOCAL TAX IMPACTS ON BUSINESSES
During the economic downturn, the Arizona Legislature pushed funding of state government mandates, such as road maintenance and county court expenses, down to local jurisdictions in an effort to balance the budget. Due to assessment ratio for business property taxes, the net effect of this budgeting technique was an increased burden on existing and future Arizona businesses. For this reason, AAED opposes unreasonable sweeps and unfunded mandates to local governments in the budget process.
RETAIN AND MODERNIZE EXISTING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS
AAED membership opposes any unnecessary changes that reduce or delay existing and proven economic development tools and programs, including GPLET. Many companies chose to relocate or expand in Arizona in part because of these programs. The need to remain consistent and competitive is more critical than ever. In addition, AAED supports appropriate modernization of the State’s economic development programs in an effort to increase Arizona’s competitiveness. AAED advocates for the proper funding of the Arizona Job Training Fund or the creation of a new job training program to help attract and grow businesses in Arizona. AAED discourages the Legislature from sweeping any additional funds not used in a particular fiscal year by the ACA.
ENHANCE THE ACCESS TO CAPITAL
AAED recognizes that access to capital is one of the major impediments to the formation and growth of new companies. Venture capital drives job creation and economic growth by helping entrepreneurs turn innovative ideas and scientific advances into products and services. Extension and funding of the Angel Investment Tax Credit is necessary to encourage more private capital investments within Arizona. The need to fund the research and development tax credit is also necessary to encourage the retention and attraction of the companies and high wage jobs associated with these activities. AAED encourages the Legislature to allow companies that have earned tax credits through their investment and job creation activities to be able to apply those credits to other Arizona tax liabilities.
FUND TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Infrastructure investment leads to economic expansion in addition to improving safety, the environment, cost of living and quality of life. AAED supports funding via appropriate fee and taxing mechanisms that encourage the development, maintenance, and improvement of infrastructure that results in business development and job creation. Sweeps of Highway User Revenue Funds (HURF) must stop. HURF, which is the sum of several taxes and fees including the state’s gas tax and the vehicle license tax (VLT), is allotted for the purposes of maintaining roads and bridges and other transportation needs in the State. Since 2001, more than $2 billion has been diverted from HURF to pay for other government programs. AAED urges the Legislature to convene a group of state leaders to start the dialogue on how we can meet our future transportation needs and maximize Arizona’s economic competitiveness. This should be done immediately after the Surface Transportation Funding Task Force releases its funding recommendations to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, President of the Senate and Governor Doug Ducey. In addition, AAED supports access and connectivity to the Internet through high speed digital infrastructure that meets the needs of all Arizonans.