In just a few weeks, the First Regular Session of the 54th Legislature will convene.  In preparation for the upcoming legislative session, the Greater Phoenix Chamber’s Public Affairs and Issue Committees have developed a comprehensive Public Policy Guide.

The Public Policy Guide consists of a robust set of guiding principles crafted by business leaders and policy experts in the Chamber’s Issues Committees and the Public Affairs Committee. These committees provide a platform for Chamber members to influence the Chamber’s positions on key regulatory issues at every level of government.

As a new legislative session with newly-elected legislators and legislative leadership approaches, the Chamber’s public affairs team is working diligently to meet with leaders and community members to share the Chamber’s priorities for the upcoming session. From seeking resolution and clarity on key tax issues and encouraging the adoption of a drought contingency plan that supports the Greater Phoenix region, to advocating for sound fiscal practices, the Chamber team is confident that this session will be productive and result in a regulatory climate that supports business success.

As the 2019 legislative session approaches, it’s vital that lawmakers understand the business community’s top priorities and what issues are hindering economic growth in the Greater Phoenix region.

With the help of business leaders and Chamber members of all sizes, the Chamber’s public affairs team identified three pivotal issues that need resolution during the upcoming session.

Arizona’s Budget

The Chamber favors maintaining Arizona’s structurally balanced budget and supports a fiscally responsible plan that funds vital state services, including education and infrastructure. It is important that the education 20X2020 plan is carried out and that lawmakers responsibly manage any one-time surplus funds. The Chamber urges lawmakers to adopt and follow a fiscal model that is fair, sound, balanced and promotes job creation and economic vitality.

Tax Policy

The business community needs clarity and conformity on key tax issues including:

  • Digital Goods and Services: The Chamber advocates for the modernization of Arizona’s tax code as it applies to digital goods and services. The business community has urged lawmakers for clarity and predictability, so businesses can accurately comply with state regulation. Further, the Chamber supports legislation that addresses the following concerns: updating terms related to “digital goods,” defining which digital goods or services may be tax-exempt and clearly defining these goods and services in Arizona’s tax code.
  • South Dakota vs. Wayfair decision: The business community needs lawmakers to pass legislation that clarifies how Arizona’s Department of Revenue will be enacting the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding the taxation of goods sold online. The Chamber looks forward to a productive dialogue between key stakeholders and lawmakers in the upcoming session.
  • Federal tax conformity: The business community is seeking conformity to the federal tax code to provide clarity to Arizona’s tax professionals and related economic stakeholders.

Water Policy

Arizona is a state that needs to carefully and diligently plan for water usage across all industries. It is time for lawmakers and key stakeholders including businesses and communities to craft and pass a drought contingency plan that supports the users in the Greater Phoenix region and throughout the state. The Chamber hopes that lawmakers and all parties will come to a resolution that provides clarity and certainty to water users.

Interested in being involved in the Chamber’s Public Affairs process? Join one of the Issue Committees. The Public Affairs program offers members the opportunity to participate in crafting policy priorities through six issue committees. Learn more!

Posted by Danny Imes