Paul Boyer: Tax reform will help Ariz. small businesses, add jobs

Paul BoyerBy Paul Boyer

2018 is an exciting year for Arizona small businesses, which will be able to take advantage of a new 20 percent tax deduction associated with the recently passed federal tax legislation. These savings will not only benefit state small businesses, but employees, job seekers, and communities as well.

Arizona runs on small business. Our state is home to over 500,000 small businesses (defined by the Small Business Administration as employing 500 or fewer), helping employ nearly one million people. And these numbers are not unique to Arizona. Across the country, small businesses account for over 99 percent of all businesses and a net two-thirds of all new private sector jobs.

But despite the invaluable contribution small businesses had on the economy, for far too long, the structure of the old tax system actively worked against growth, with marginal federal rates reaching 40 percent. This over-taxation put small businesses at an inherent disadvantage.

Under the new tax law, a 20 percent deduction is established for all small business income less than $315,000, and non-professional service business income above that threshold. Roughly 95 percent of small businesses earn less than $315,000, meaning the overwhelming majority will benefit from the full 20 percent deduction.

Consider, for example, how this deduction would help an average Arizona small business earning $200,000 a year. This 20 percent deduction would protect $40,000 from federal taxation, freeing up much-needed resources to create jobs and raise wages. I am already hearing from dozens of businesses around the state about their plans to raise wages, hire employees, and expand with their tax savings.

This excess capital in the private economy will fuel economic growth. Contrary to popular belief, business owners will not simply pocket their tax savings. “They will follow the lead of their big business counterparts, hundreds of which, including AT&T, Comcast, and PNC Bank have used their tax savings to give workers bonuses or raise their wages, creating wealthier and more vibrant communities that touch nearly everyone.

We are even seeing specific examples of these savings here in our home state. Arizona’s largest utility, Arizona Public Service Co, announced its intention to reduce consumer bills, citing the lower corporate tax rate as the driving force behind the decision. These collective cuts could reach nearly $120 million, impacting over 25 million customers.

Arizona Public Service is giving the entirety of their tax cut back to customers. For families on a fixed income, these savings are crucial. They are able to live with a stronger sense of financial security thanks to the recent tax bill.

During my time in the Arizona State Legislature, I’ve encountered businesses longing to share their passions with the world. I witnessed humble business ventures transform into leaders of the Arizona business community. From my experience, a tax cut, like the one recently signed into law, would have done wonders in helping get these businesses off the ground. Now new businesses will finally get the relief they’ve needed for so long.

Tax cuts will give small businesses a lot to look forward to this year, meanwhile all Arizonans will reap the benefits.

Republican Paul Boyer, a high-school literature teacher, is chairman of the Arizona House Education Committee and represents Legislative District 20, based in Phoenix and Glendale. Email him at pboyer@azleg.gov

Representative Jill Norgaard Introduces Legislation to Expand Instruction Options for English Language Learners

Jill NorgaardSTATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Representative Jill Norgaard (R-18) has introduced HB 2281, legislation that will remove the requirement of a four-hour block of daily structured English emersion for English Language Learners if they are enrolled in a dual language program.

HB 2281 passed the House Education Committee with unanimous support, of 9-0.

English Language Learners are K-12 students who are not proficient in the English language, as scored by the Arizona English Language Learner Assessment.

“Studies have shown that dual language programs can be a more effective way to educate English language learners without having to pull students from their core classes for a required four-hour block of daily emersion,” said Representative Norgaard. “Affording schools the flexibility to determine how to best educate their English Language Learners will help prevent students from falling behind and will put the power back in the hands of the teachers and families.”

Ugenti-Rita: Arizona Small Businesses Will Benefit from Tax Bill

Michelle Ugenti-RitaA little over a month ago, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law, and Americans are already feeling better than ever about the state of our economy. In a recent poll from Quinnipiac University, 66 percent of Americans rated the nation’s economy as either “excellent” or “good”—a three percentage point jump since last month.

It’s difficult to not be excited about the impact the tax bill is having on Arizona and its small businesses. The relief could not have come sooner.

Arizona is home to nearly 500,000 small businesses that employ approximately one million people. For too long these entities have struggled under a burdensome tax code that has prevented growth. With the previous federal tax rate approaching 40 percent, small businesses saw much of their hard-earned revenue disappear into the pockets of Uncle Sam.

Fortunately, measures included in the new tax relief package will reduce this burden. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created a 20 percent standard deduction that applies to roughly 95 percent of small businesses and eliminates high tax brackets in favor of new, lower ones.

To put the standard deduction in layman’s terms, with the help of the new tax legislation, small businesses earning $200,000 a year are able to shield their first $40,000 of income from taxation. That extra cash can now be funneled into employee bonuses, wage increases, job creation, and business expansion. These measures will further bolster Arizona’s pro-business, pro-growth reputation.

According to a report by BMO Financial Group, Arizona’s business environment is already strong. While most state economies are expected to grow by an average of 2.2 percent, Arizona anticipates 2.8 percent growth in 2018. The tax cuts package will only accelerate that advancement.

In fact, we are already seeing some positive results in the state. Arizona-based YAM Worldwide announced it will be giving out $1.3 million in bonuses to its employees. Furthermore, over 1,000 JPMorgan Chase employees in Arizona will receive wage hikes or bonuses as part of the companies nationwide $20 billion, five-year plan to invest back into the country.

In addition, a report from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation found the bill will create almost 6,500 jobs in the state.

These must be the “crumbs” Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats scoffed at while trying to explain away the benefits resulting from tax relief. For some, these “crumbs” represent eased rent worries, the ability to afford childcare or help with the skyrocketing costs of healthcare.

The examples chronicled above are only a small piece of the benefits the tax bill has induced. Imagine the impacts Arizona will feel a year from now.

Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R) is the Chair of the Arizona House Ways and Means Committee and represents the 23rd House District

Conservative Attorney Marcus Kelley Announces for LD-20 State House

(PHOENIX) – Tuesday, conservative Republican Marcus Kelley announced his candidacy for the State House in legislative district 20. Kelley, an attorney and long-time conservative activist, filed paperwork with the Secretary of State’s office to represent the district that spans the north of the Phoenix metropolitan area, including parts of Glendale, in one of the district’s two house seats. Both seats will likely become open as Representatives Anthony Kern and Paul Boyer vie for the Senate seat in the Republican Primary.

Kelley who currently works as an attorney with the law firm of Goldman and Zwillinger, has also worked in state and federal government including for former State Senate President Andy Biggs and Attorney General Mark Brnovich. Marcus has worked for the American Conservative Union and later for the Republican Study Committee when then-Congressman Mike Pence was the Chairman. He graduated from the University of Arizona and the Cardozo School of Law. Kelley also serves on the governing board of a local charter school.

“I am seeking a seat in the Arizona House to continue bringing a conservative voice to public policy matters,” Kelley stated. “My years of experience coupled with my track record of consistent conservatism on the issues will represent the constituents of LD-20 well,” he asserted.

On the issues, Kelley is a strong social and fiscal conservative. He is pledged to reducing taxes and spending in a balanced and prioritized budget. He is solidly pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, and is an outspoken supporter of the Second Amendment.

Kelley and his wife, Nickie, have been married for more than 13 years and have two children who attend a local charter school.

Poll: 2:1 Arizona Voters Support a Soda Tax Benefiting Education

Marijuana legalization has poor support if held in a mid-term election

PHOENIX (November 20, 2017) – Last week we released poll results regarding President Donald Trump’s approval rating and the state of the current U.S. Senate race here in Arizona. We also asked several other issue questions. Please note, none of these issues tested are on the ballot for 2018, although our results could lead to an interesting debate.

We conducted a survey of six hundred likely 2018 General Election Democratic, Republican, Independent and Non-Declared voters across Arizona, based on likely 2018 turnout participated in this survey with a +/-4% MOE.

We begin by looking at the top-line results of the first issue question regarding a soda tax:

Respondents by an almost 2:1 margin support a tax on soda where the proceeds would go directly to education with less than 10% having no opinion. Half of Republicans would be in support, and a plurality of 2/3rd’s of Democrats and Independents support the hypothetical measure.

Females were overwhelmingly supportive and far less opposed compared to males.

·       Male support/oppose       51% / 41%

·       Female support/oppose   67% / 23%

Historically, rural Arizona is more Conservative than Pima and Maricopa counties. Much to our surprise, when looking at the geographic breakdowns, rural Arizona respondents were the most supportive of such a measure, which goes against the grain given conservatives are the most ardent opponents to tax increases.  67% of rural respondents support the measure while only 24% oppose. This may say more about the perceived condition of rural education as it does political ideology.

“According to respondent’s soda is the new ‘sin’. Just like cigarettes and alcohol, people don’t mind adding taxes there for the greater good,” said Mike Noble, managing partner and chief pollster at OH Predictive Insights, a Phoenix-based leading behavioral research polling company. “Cubs win the world series, Trump gets elected president and a Bloomberg policy has 59% support in Arizona – this is the year of the possible.”

The second question dealt with legalization of marijuana:

Legalization of marijuana for personal use was on the ballot last year in Arizona. However, it failed to pass by less than 3-points even though a large amount of money was spent in support of the measure. If this measure was on the ballot for 2018 it would underperform compared to the 2016 election results.

“Legalizing marijuana in Arizona is much less viable in a mid-term election however there is a strong chance we will see them take another run at it in 2020,” said Noble.

Finally, the remaining issue questions asked:

By more than a 2:1 margin respondents opposed non-U.S. citizen students receiving the benefit of in-state tuition at an Arizona University. 85% of Republicans and half of the Independents were in opposition, although half of Democrats were in favor. Interestingly, 25% of respondents who have some college education or are a college graduate held a negative 37-point opinion.

 

Methodology: This automated survey was completed by OH Predictive Insights on November 9th, 2017, from a likely 2018 General Election voter sample. The sample demographics accurately reflected party affiliation, geographic location and gender however age leaned heavily towards 55+ respondents due to it being automated. The sample size was 600 completed surveys, with a MoE of ± 4%.

TJ Shope, Frank Pratt Named 2017 Legislative Champions by League of Arizona Cities and Towns

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Speaker Pro Tempore T.J. Shope (R-8) and Senator Frank Pratt (R-8) last week were named 2017 Legislative Champions by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.

The Legislative Champions award is given to legislators to honor their outstanding public service and dedication to local governance.

“I am honored to be named a 2017 Legislative Champion by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns,” said Speaker Pro Tempore Shope. “Our work together ensures that communities across the state continue to grow into better places to live, work, and play.

“I am thrilled to be honored by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns,” said Senator Pratt. “Their dedication to support city and local leadership at the legislature is an asset to our state.

The League of Arizona Cities and Towns is a membership-based organization comprised of municipalities throughout Arizona and provides a bridge from local cities and towns to the state legislature.

Shope Pratt

TJ Shope & Frank Pratt

Senator Sylvia Allen: The Tragedy of Charlottesville Riots

Sylvia Allen

Senator Sylvia Allen

“How can we know who we are and where we are going if we don’t know anything about where we have come from and what we have been through, the courage shown, the costs paid, to be where we are?”

– David  McCullough:  American author, and historian

By Sylvia Allen

History must be preserved and protected.  It must not be distorted and altered to fit the whim of the current political movement.  We learn from our past.  We take the mistakes and change ourselves so we don’t repeat them.  We understand the deeds of good men and women who had the courage to stand for what’s right, and we continue to emulate that.

Our American founders expressed over and over how important it was for our founding principles to be taught to future generations.  Thomas Jefferson said that we cannot be ignorant and free.  Over the last 50 years, we have distorted the past for political gain.  We have destroyed the loyalty and love for our country in the hearts of many of our youth.  We have held up other governing philosophy as superior to ours, leaving out the truth of brutal consequences.If someone is protesting peacefully (I repeat, peacefully and legally) we will respect that, even if we don’t agree with them.   It is their God given

If someone is protesting peacefully (I repeat, peacefully and legally) we will respect that, even if we don’t agree with them. It is their God given right to freedom of expression.  If we take away their rights, we have also taken away our own rights.   I strongly reject and condemn the beliefs of white supremacy groups.  I can reject their message and still allow them to peacefully speak.We need to understand the principles of fascism,

We need to understand the principles of fascism, totalitarianism and Marxism. All the “ism’s” have one thing in common; they control people’s thinking, their property and every aspect of their life. The fascism and totalitarianism ideals are so far Right that they meet Marxism and communism on the other side.  Russia, China and Germany murdered millions to control how people think or behave, often sending those who spoke out to concentration camp.  In Munich, Germany 1938, “Kristallnacht”, or The Night of Broken Glass,resulted in thousands of Jewish men, women and children being beaten and killed along with the destruction of their shops and homes. From there it led to the gas chambers.There are parallels in history with what is happening not only in Charlottesville but for the last few years of rioting in our country.  My question and concern

There are parallels in history with what is happening not only in Charlottesville but for the last few years of rioting in our country.  My question and concern is, where will it lead us to?Now we hear that the Washington and Jefferson monuments should be torn down because both presidents were slave owners.  Again, what was the world like over 200 years ago?  The entire world’s economy was slave-driven due to the lack of machinery and the fact that all things had to be produced by human energy.  Even certain African nations sold their fellow countrymen into slavery.  Indentured servants, for all intent and purposes, were slaves until their servitude time was served.  Even today, North Korea and China use slave labor.

Now we hear that the Washington and Jefferson monuments should be torn down because both presidents were slave owners.  Again, what was the world like over 200 years ago?  The entire world’s economy was slave-driven due to the lack of machinery and the fact that all things had to be produced by human energy.  Even certain African nations sold their fellow countrymen into slavery.  Indentured servants, for all intent and purposes, were slaves until their servitude time was served.  Even today, North Korea and China use slave labor.For millennia, people’s fate was determined by what station in life they were born into. Then a new dawn of governing appeared, driven by the conviction that all men are created equal and that all were born with inalienable rights from their Creator.  These thoughts revolutionized the world.

For millennia, people’s fate was determined by what station in life they were born into. Then a new dawn of governing appeared, driven by the conviction that all men are created equal and that all were born with inalienable rights from their Creator.  These thoughts revolutionized the world.Yes, some of our founders owned slaves.  They were born into

Yes, some of our founders owned slaves.  They were born into a world that had been functioning this way for thousands of years. But more importantly, our founders had the courage to declare that it was a time for change and that the current system must be reformed so that all should be free.  These doctrines are not the problem, they are eternal truths; it is mankind who finds it difficult to live them.  If those men and women in 1776 had not established a new form of government, what would America be like today?

You and I have a responsibility to stand as citizens to defend our Constitution and founding principles that have given us prosperity and individual freedom.  We must defend the rights of individuals to have freedom of expression and to believe in the dictates of their own conscience without reprisal. This was an inalienable right given to us from our Creator.   It is our time now to see if we are worthy of the blessings of freedom.  To be born free is a privilege, but to die free is an awesome responsibility.

You and I have a responsibility to stand as citizens to defend our Constitution and founding principles that have given us prosperity and individual freedom.  We must defend the rights of individuals to have freedom of expression and to believe in the dictates of their own conscience without reprisal. This was an inalienable right given to us from our Creator.   It is our time now to see if we are worthy of the blessings of freedom.  To be born free is a privilege, but to die free is an awesome responsibility.

Secretary of State Completes Preliminary Review of Referendum Petitions

Michele Reagan

On August 8, 2017, Save Our Schools Arizona filed an estimated 9,078 petition sheets containing 111,540 signatures in support of R-02-2018.

The Secretary of State’s Office has completed its preliminary review of referendum petitions in accordance with Arizona law, and has determined that the committee filed 9,291 petition sheets.  Of these, 8,950 petition sheets containing 108,224 signatures remained eligible for random sampling and County Recorder review.

A 5% random sample of these signatures has been sent to the County Recorders for signature verification under Arizona law.  In order for the measure to qualify for the 2018 General Election ballot, the County Recorders must collectively validate at least 3,767 signatures (or 69.6%) from the random sample.

The deadline for County Recorder review is September 11, 2017.

Read more about Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan here.

Representative Finchem Applauds AZ Supreme Court Decision Overruling Tucson Gun Law

Mark Finchem

Mark Finchem

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Representative Mark Finchem (R-11) today expressed appreciation for the Arizona Supreme Court’s decision that Tucson’s controversial practice of destroying seized firearms is a violation of state law.

Between 2013 and 2016 the Tucson Police Department destroyed 4,820 guns, some of which were turned in by residents and others seized from crime investigations.

“It is a good thing that the City of Tucson will finally be held accountable for their blatant disregard of state law,” said Representative Finchem.  “Each citizen is expected to live by the law – for city officials to think they are exempt from state law is absurd.”

In 2013, Governor Brewer signed into law HB 2455, a bill that prohibits a city or town from destroying a firearm and requires them to sell any unclaimed firearms in their possession. Subsequently in 2016, Governor Ducey signed into law SB 1487, a bill that directs the Attorney General (AG), upon request of a member of the Legislature, to investigate any alleged violations of the Arizona Constitution or state law by a governing body of a county or municipality.

“The objective was never to punish, but to ensure observance of state law,” said Representative Finchem. “When public property is destroyed, taxpayers are ultimately hurt by the lost revenue.  Today is a victory for taxpayers and the rule of law.”

Speaker Mesnard Applauds Court Decision Allowing Initiative Compliance Law to Take Effect

Arizona Seal

JD Mesnard

JD Mesnard

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Speaker J.D. Mesnard (R-17) today applauded a decision by the Arizona Superior Court allowing legislation (HB 2244) passed by the Legislature earlier this year to take effect tomorrow.  HB 2244 creates uniformity, provides greater clarity, and ensures integrity in the signature-gathering process for initiatives and referenda by compelling strict compliance with requirements set forth in statute and the Constitution.

“Because the Legislature doesn’t have the ability to address unintended consequences created by initiatives, it’s important that initiative campaigns strictly comply with the law,” said Speaker Mesnard.  “I’m pleased with the Court’s decision and look forward to the implementation of the law.”

The new law goes into effect tomorrow, August 9.