At the beginning of the legislative session, I talked about the Chamber’s steadfast commitment to advocating for public policy that would support business growth and recovery from the effects of the pandemic. During this legislative session, our Public Affairs team focused and advocated on behalf of our 2,400 member businesses on key issues that were essential to the success of our business community.

Today we are on day 163 of the Legislative Session. The new normal seems to be longer sessions and trickier budgets, with this year trending much like the last. We are hopeful this session will end in the nick of time, before the fiscal year ends on June 30th. While many of the Chamber’s key issues are wrapped up in budget negotiations, significant progress has been made on many other Chamber-supported and opposed bills. As of today, the Governor has signed nearly 300 bills, with 22 of those supported by the Chamber, and 31 Chamber-opposed bills have been defeated, with very few still lingering in the process.

Key Bills Signed:

Two bills the Governor has signed into law to help Arizona remain competitive on business, personal, and real property tax fronts include HB 2822: Personal Property Additional Depreciation, spearheaded by Representative Jeff Weninger, and SB 1093: Property Tax; Class One Equalization Assistance, sponsored by Senator J.D Mesnard.

HB 2822 prospectively sets the valuation factor for specific personal property at 2.5%. This uniform rate ensures certainty and simplicity for businesses moving forward.

The momentum for SB 1093 last year reduced the business property tax valuation assessment. After full implementation, the business assessment will decline from last year’s 18% rate to 15% in 2027, a significant measure for businesses that will allow more investment into capital projects or other business operations.

Key Bills Pending:

SB 1643: Tax Credits; Research; Development incentivizes the state’s advanced manufacturing sector to increase economic resiliency by creating new opportunities for sustained innovation, and equipping Arizona graduates entering the workforce with highly technical training and employment opportunities. As Arizona’s advanced manufacturing sector recovers from severe disruptions in the supply chain, this legislation will equip businesses and workers for future success by encouraging further investment in research and development. Supported by the Greater Phoenix Chamber and numerous other organizations, the bill is critical to this session’s economic investment, and we urge lawmakers to sign this bill into law.

HB 2691: Health Care Workforce; Grant Programs, sponsored by the House Health and Human Services Chair, Representative Joanne Osborne, will bolster our health care workforce. Arizona is facing the daunting reality of a health care workforce shortage. This issue predates COVID-19 but was exacerbated by the pandemic with employees leaving the practice due to burnout, nurses retiring, and a lack of trained nurses to replace those leaving the workplace. HB 2691 aims to tackle this issue by creating a statewide workforce program that addresses health care professional shortages to meet the state’s healthcare needs and continues to provide high-wage and quality jobs for Arizonans.

Finally, Proposition 400, the half-cent sales tax approved by voters to support critical transportation infrastructure, is set to expire in 2025. Extending this tax will generate more than $30 billion to ensure Arizona has the necessary transportation system to support our growing population. The Legislature must pass a bill with the extension before it’s sent to the voters.

As the session comes to a close, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to our Public Affairs Chair, Susan Anable, Vice President of Public and Government Affairs for Cox Communications, who has provided strong and steady leadership in navigating these key issues. I look forward to working with her in FY23 as we continue to serve as the business community’s voice at all levels of government.

I encourage you to visit the Chamber’s Public Affairs Dashboard to stay updated on key bills, issues, and the Chamber PAC’s 2022 Primary Election candidate endorsements.

 

 

 

Posted by Annelise Patterson