2019 AAED Policy Priorities
EXPANDING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS TO MAKE ARIZONA MORE COMPETITIVE
AAED urges the Legislature to support programs and policies that encourage businesses to expand and locate in Arizona and enhance our state’s competitive position in attracting and retaining high wage jobs.
ENSURE A QUALIFIED WORKFORCE AND WORKFORCE PIPELINE
AAED supports sustainable policies and funding for education programs that result in a thriving qualified Arizona workforce. In recent years, Arizona has made strides in increasing education funding. It is a positive start to a continuing legislative dialogue for high-quality educational systems that will provide Arizona with an additional asset when attracting companies and talent. Supporting not only a healthy innovation pipeline, but also a robust internship and craft training ecosystem have verifiable impacts on the overall economic health of our state. A qualified workforce with a balance of general education and career, technical, & workforce education and training will support Arizona’s competitiveness in the retention and attraction of high wage jobs.
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. Many companies choose to relocate or expand in Arizona because of these programs. The need to remain consistent and competitive is critical to Arizona’s long-term economic development success. Creative programs that incentivize business creation and expansion enhance the state’s appeal both nationally and globally. AAED applauds the renewal of the Arizona Commerce Authority’s charter. Continued legislative support is necessary to provide programmatic funding for its mission of job creation, capital investment and higher wages.
LOCAL TAX IMPACTS ON BUSINESSES
In previous years, the Arizona Legislature pushed funding of state government mandates down to local jurisdictions to balance the State budget. Due to assessment ratio for business property taxes, the net effect of this budgeting technique was an increased burden on Arizona businesses. AAED advocates for holistic and meaningful tax reform that benefits the entire state, while keeping vital funding intact. Recently, the taxation of digital goods and services has become a major issue that reflects changes in technology and increased access to digitally available content. AAED supports clarity in Arizona’s tax statutes relating to digital goods and services. However, lawmakers need to carefully consider the impact such taxation could have on local governments when reviewing potential legislation.
FUND TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE
AAED supports mechanisms that encourage the development, maintenance, and improvement of infrastructure that results in business development and job creation. Technological advances must be included when considering transportation needs. Autonomous transportation and “Smart City” technologies have tremendous economic development potential for Arizona and its businesses. In addition to ongoing Highway User Revenue Fund appropriations AAED urges the Legislature to explore sustainable ways to meet future transportation needs and maximize Arizona’s economic competitiveness.
WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
Water is crucial for the attraction, retention, expansion and long-term viability of business in Arizona. Recent reports from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation have stated that the Colorado River Basin (CRB) has a 50/50 chance of moving into a shortage declaration in 2020. Therefore, AAED advocates for a statewide dialogue on and implementation of a Drought Contingency Plan (DCP). The DCP will allow Arizona to work collaboratively with other states dependent on the Lower CRB, so that when water levels in Lake Mead reach critically low levels, no single state feels the brunt of a water shortage. AAED asks the Legislature to allow the Arizona Department of Water Resources to participate in the planning and enactment of such a plan.
CLICK HERE for AAED Legislative Policy Guidelines