House Vote Comes Just in the Nick of Time

Prescient lawmakers act before key economic indicator reports dangerous drop

PHOENIX, Ariz., April 10, 2012 — They had no way of knowing yesterday that today’s release of one of America’s most important economic indicators would show a possible stall in the nation’s recovery, but Rules Committee members of the Arizona House of Representatives proved very prescient in passing Senate Concurrent Resolution 1012.

“Today’s release of NFIB’s Small-Business Economics Trends report should remove any lingering doubt that the full House should pass SCR 1012 and get it on the November ballot for voters to have their say,” said Farrell Quinlan, Arizona state director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), America’s largest small-business association. “Combine today’s report with next week’s tax filing deadline and it’s beyond debate that the House needs to act now to send the strongest possible message to Arizona’s job creators that help is on the way.”

For almost 40 years, NFIB’s SBET has been one of the nation’s bellwether economic barometers, used by Federal Reserve chairmen, Congress, and presidential administrations. Release of today’s report shows its Optimism Index falling two points overall in March after six months of gains. Small business in no small matter, because Main Street enterprises employ the majority of working Americans and generate most new jobs—not big businesses, and certainly not big governments or labor unions.

“The mood of owners is subdued—they just can’t seem to shake off the uncertainties out there,” wrote NFIB’s chief economist, William Dunkelberg, in today’s report. “What we saw in March is painfully familiar – this was the same pattern of growth followed by months of decline from 2011. History appears to be repeating itself—and not in a good way.”

A capital expenditures category is one of 10 measurements the SBET takes each month, and March showed a sharp drop in new equipment and vehicle purchases. This, according to Quinlan, is where Arizona can step in to help. SCR 1012, also called the Small Business Jobs Creation Act, would unleash small business expansion by resetting the personal property tax exemption for new machinery and equipment purchases to an amount equal to the earnings of fifty Arizona workers (almost $2.4 million). Last month the referendum unanimously passed the Senate 30-0 while an identical bill (HCR 2009) passed the House 47-10 with an overwhelming bipartisan majority.

“You can say you intend to hire more workers, and all you’re doing is expressing a wish or a sentiment,” said Quinlan. “But when we see you adding more machinery, other equipment, and vehicles, the new jobs are sure to follow. That’s why NFIB is amplifying our call for the Arizona House to schedule a vote on SCR 1012 sooner rather than later—before Tax Day and the 100th day of the legislative session, both of which fall on April 17 this year. We need to send a message now that Arizona is open for business.”

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NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small and independent business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB’s powerful network of grassroots activists send their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America’s free enterprise system. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. More information is available online at www.NFIB.com/newsroom.


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