By Todd Sanders – Contributing writer
Jul 18, 2022

Now, more than ever, the low inflation rates that existed just months ago for Americans are a distant memory. Inflation is currently at a historic high of 9.1%, affecting consumers and businesses everywhere. Small businesses in Arizona are feeling impacted the most. Our small businesses need solutions to sustain their growth in today’s climate of rising costs.

Discussions in Washington have picked back up on a “revised” Build Back Better plan, and while the future path forward is unclear, lawmakers should focus on solutions to help job creators grow and expand instead of contemplating raising taxes.

The pared-down Build Back Better plan is laid out to combat climate change, expand affordable health care, and other measures with the hope of supporting the middle class. These may all be laudable goals; however, this substantial framework would come at a cost of its own: asking for outsized contributions from American engines of commerce. Right now, the last thing our consumers and small businesses need is burdensome tax increases that impede growth and job creation. Doing so would further strain our economy and worsen its uncertainty.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the last year, inflation in the Phoenix area is higher than the national average, currently sitting at a shocking 12.3%. Millions of Arizonans are spending thousands more to support themselves and their families compared to the average American. Businesses throughout greater Phoenix and Arizona are also struggling with the state’s growing inflation rate, all while they try to keep the lights on in their stores amidst increasing energy costs.

While Arizona is one of the nation’s leaders in job creation, unfortunately, our wage growth rate is diminished and lower than the inflation rate. Even without the new tax increases, Arizona’s economy faces a higher cost of living that is increasingly less feasible for our residents.

Arizona’s entrepreneurial community appreciates the work that Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and Sen. Mark Kelly have been doing to highlight the negative effects of the revised Build Back Better framework’s proposed tax increases. Sen. Sinema continues to emphasize her opposition to raising the corporate minimum tax rate and any policies that will stall economic growth. Sen. Kelly continues to advocate for an economy that benefits all Arizonans while continuing to look for measures that reflect the interests of both parties and deliver for our consumers and small businesses.

Raising taxes now amid historic inflation, supply chain disruptions, and ongoing economic uncertainty would do nothing but jeopardize the American economy, further straining our job creators. The Greater Phoenix Chamber will continue to articulate the importance of the state’s small business community and the critical role it has in reversing this downturn. The prospect of tax increases at this time would be especially damaging locally, and we must ensure that these harmful policies end up on the cutting room floor.

Todd Sanders is president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber.

Posted by Jocelyn McAlpin