PHOENIX – The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry today announced that it has endorsed four propositions that will appear on the November ballot. The Chamber opposes another measure, the Quality Education and Jobs initiative, whose ballot status will soon be decided.

Proposition 116 – Property Tax Exemptions – Support

“The Arizona Chamber joins the Arizona chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business in supporting Proposition 116, which will help small businesses grow and create jobs by reducing the tax burden on their equipment and machinery,” Chamber President and CEO Glenn Hamer said. “A tax on the value of equipment and machinery increases the fixed cost of operating a business in Arizona and creates a disincentive to new investment. Proposition 116 would exempt the value of equipment and machinery equal up to the wages of 50 Arizona workers, making it more likely Arizona businesses will hire new employees.”

Proposition 117 – Property Tax Assessed Valuation – Support

“As our friends at the Arizona Tax Research Association have pointed out for years, our state’s property tax system is overly complicated, with two valuations: full cash value and limited property value. Under Proposition 117, the annual growth of the limited property value would be limited to five percent, and it wouldn’t exceed the full cash value. Also, the limited property value would be the only taxable value, helping to deliver a much greater level of predictability and stability in Arizona’s property tax system,” Hamer said.

Proposition 118 – Establishment of Permanent Funds – Support

“Passage of Proposition 118 will restructure the distribution formula for the Permanent Land Endowment Fund, whose largest beneficiary is K-12 education,” Hamer said. “The result will be a simple yet important change that will bring about reliable and consistent K-12 education funding with no new taxes and no new spending from the General Fund. Arizona Treasurer Doug Ducey deserves applause for crafting this vital reform.”

Proposition 119 – State Trust Lands – Support

“Proposition 119 will help prevent incompatible land use that could put at risk the jobs associated with military bases,” Hamer said. “Arizona’s military installations contribute over $9 billion in economic output. Proposition 119, whose supporters include Land Commissioner Maria Baier and Greater Phoenix Leadership, will help ensure they are able to complete their critical missions and remain an integral part of Arizona’s economy for decades to come.”

Quality Education and Jobs Initiative – Oppose

“If the Quality Education and Jobs initiative makes the ballot, the Arizona Chamber will oppose it,” Hamer said. “The Chamber recognizes that a high-performing education system requires the financial resources necessary to produce a highly qualified workforce. To that end, the Chamber strongly supported Proposition 100 in 2010, which established a temporary one cent per dollar sales tax, and over 10 years ago our organization supported Proposition 301. But this initiative proposes an entirely new permanent tax with new implications for policymakers and our state. This new permanent tax does not increase accountability nor does it demand increased achievement from our education system. Whatever the good intentions of this measure, this is an exercise in ballot box budgeting without serious steps to increase accountability and institute reforms that asks Arizona voters to essentially write a blank check of about $1 billion annually.”

After receiving presentations from campaign supporters and opponents, the Chamber’s Public Affairs Committee made recommendations whether to support or oppose measures to the board of directors, which ultimately voted on the Chamber’s final positions.

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