DECEMBER 28, 2011

Special Poll: Stop punishing investment to spur job growth

Small-business owners point to a way out of Arizona’s recession

PHOENIX – Small-business owners believe Arizona needs further legislative action to spur job creation and overwhelmingly favor lowering the property tax burden on new equipment and machinery to do so, according to a special poll released today by their leading representative association.

“Small business wants job creation to continue to be the highest priority for Gov. Jan Brewer and the Arizona Legislature next session,” said Farrell Quinlan, Arizona state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, America’s largest small-business association. “Lowering the cost for small businesses to create jobs through meaningful property-tax relief and the further lifting of the regulatory burden will help restore Arizona’s economy and put our citizens back to work.”

The NFIB survey found near unanimous support among small business owners with 93 percent agreeing our leaders should keep job creation a high priority. It also found 77 percent of small business owners favor significantly increasing the amount of a business’ equipment and machinery that is exempt from personal property taxation.

The survey based its personal property tax questions on a legislative referral being developed by Senate Majority Leader Andy Biggs (Gilbert) and other lawmakers, including House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jack Harper (Surprise). The legislation, called the Small Business Job Creation Act, asks voters to increase the Arizona Constitution’s exemption for new equipment and machinery to an amount equal to the annual wages of 50 Arizona workers or approximately $2.3 million from the current $67,000.

The NFIB survey dramatically reveals that lowering the tax burden on a business’ equipment and machinery would lead to a burst of job creation from small businesses. When asked if Sen. Biggs’ proposal becomes law, 46 percent of small business owners said raising the personal property tax exemption would likely lead their businesses to hire new workers while 56 percent said such a move would likely result in more equipment and machinery purchases.

“Clearly Arizona’s economy has yet to recover and that’s born out in continued weak job creation numbers and Arizona’s unemployment rate remaining stuck at 9 percent,” said Quinlan. “Small businesses have historically led our state and nation out of recessions through creating new jobs and investing in the future. Small business’ message to our political leaders is unmistakable, job creation is the top issue and lowering small business’ cost of creating those jobs is a great place to start.”

The poll was conducted September 6 to October 21, 2011 with 496 respondents who are Arizona small business owners. The entire poll can be read by clicking here. Results from NFIB’s fuller, annual survey on other issues will be released in the coming weeks.
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.