Scot Mussi

Phoenix, AZ – The Arizona Free Enterprise Club announced today the 2017 Free Market Champion Award recipients. The Free Market Champion Award is given to members of the Legislature that demonstrate leadership and a commitment to free market, pro-growth policies in Arizona.  This year’s award includes a picture and quote from world renowned economist and true defender of economic liberty, Milton Friedman.  The quote on the award reads, “A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.”

The two recipients of the Free Market Champion Award are:

  • Senator Sylvia Allen (District 6)
  • Representative Anthony Kern (District 20)

The Free Enterprise Club is proud to honor these two legislators for their hard work and consistent support of economic freedom and prosperity at our state capitol,” President Scot Mussi said.  “They truly made a difference for Arizona taxpayers and businesses.”

The Following is a Press Release Issued by Citizens Against Prop 417, the Grassroots Committee Opposed to the Pinal County Transportation Tax Increase:

Casa Grande, AZ (October 30th)–In their effort to pass an illegal, unnecessary tax hike in Pinal County, the backers of Prop. 417 have raised $200,000 dollars from developers, lawyers, construction companies and auto dealers based in Maricopa County.  To date the special interest funded “yes” campaign has outspent the opposition 30 to 1.

“It’s not surprising that well-funded special interests from Maricopa County want to raise our taxes. Many of these companies are going to profit immensely from Prop 417 while we are stuck paying the bill.” said Harold Vangilder, Casa Grande Resident and Chairman of Citizens against Prop 417.

According to their campaign finance report filed October 15th, the “New Roads and Freeways before it’s too late” committee raised 95% of their campaign war chest from Phoenix area special interests. Another $10,000 came from Texas. Less than 1% of the money raised in support of Prop 417 came from Pinal County.

“This entire transportation plan is bought and paid for by Phoenix area developers and lawyers.” Said Richard Brinkley, SaddleBrooke resident and Treasurer of Citizens against Prop 417. “Why should we pay for a tax hike that benefits them?”

In addition to Prop 417 being a Maricopa county funded scheme, all of the vendors used for the campaign are based outside Pinal County. Not a single person living in Pinal County was utilized in their campaign spending spree.

Opposition to Prop 417 has been growing rapidly over the last several weeks as Pinal residents learn more about the $640 Million tax increase. Not only is the current transportation tax being wasted and abused, but the County has been notified by a non-profit watchdog organization that Prop 417 is illegally drafted and will be heading to court if it passes.

“The County continues to ignore the legal issues associated with Prop 417, and now we find out that the entire campaign is being funded by outside interests that won’t even have to pay the tax.” Said Peggy Knowles, Pinal County resident and former President of the Republican Women of Pinal County. “Their hypocrisy and arrogance is unbelievable.”

The campaign finance report for “New Roads and Freeways before it’s too late” can be viewed by clicking HERE.

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Paid for by Citizens Against Prop 417. Not Authorized by any Candidate or Candidate Campaign Committee

Today the Arizona Free Enterprise Club released a comprehensive study of the Kansas tax reform experiment, reviewing many of the claims made by opponents of the 2012 tax cuts to determine their accuracy and applicability to income tax reform.

Titled “The Kansas Tax Reform Experiment: How Arizona Can Learn the Right Lessons from the Sunflower State,” the study finds that many of the claims made by detractors of the Kansas tax package are simply not true. State spending did not decline after the tax cuts were enacted, economic growth was faster when compared to similarly sized states and business growth accelerated in the state.

Rather, the budgetary problems encountered by Kansas were avoidable mistakes that Arizona can learn from if meaningful tax reform is to be implemented in the Grand Canyon State. Some of the lessons from the Kansas experiment include:

  • Spending restraint is key to any large tax cut—Contrary to the myth pushed by critics of the Kansas tax cuts, per capita spending was not slashed in the Sunflower State. In fact, overall spending increased in Kansas from 2013 to 2016. Any state considering large scale tax cuts should not plan to spend more.
  • Tax reform should include the elimination of targeted incentives and tax credits—When Governor Brownback originally proposed his tax plan, it included the elimination of carve-outs that would have simplified the tax code and recovered lost revenue. These reforms, however, were excluded from the final package, a major mistake that should not be made by other states considering reform.
  • Don’t overestimate revenue growth from tax cuts—A common mistake made by supporters of supply side tax cuts is to overestimate economic growth, and with it new tax revenue, that will immediately pay for the tax cuts. This is often not the case, and projected revenues associated with dynamic scoring should be approached conservatively.
  • Some changes in the tax code generate more economic growth than others—A key to successful tax reform is understanding that some taxes are more damaging to economic activity than others. This is especially true when considering job growth related to productivity taxes vs. consumption taxes. It is even possible that revenue neutral tax reform can generate additional economic growth if structured properly.

The paper also takes a look at the arguments made by progressive pundits to determine if the ‘blue state’ model of higher taxes and regulations has been more successful in the US than the low-income-tax ‘red state’ model. Our findings clearly show that red states such as Texas and Florida consistently outperform their high tax competitors such as Illinois, a fact consistently ignored by liberal detractors.

The Club’s policy paper can be viewed HERE.



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