Legislature Votes for Overhaul of Arizona Commerce Authority

 

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 News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

CONTACT:  Scot Mussi: (602) 508-6088

 

Legislature Votes for Overhaul of Arizona Commerce Authority

Phoenix, AZ—Today the joint Senate and House Commerce Committee voted 9-0 to recommend a complete overhaul of the Arizona Commerce Authority, a decision that the Free Enterprise Club strongly supports.

The Arizona Free Enterprise Club has long been skeptical of the agency’s merit.  The ACA is afforded $20 million a year of which half goes to a small group of well-connected businesses.  Whether those dollars are spent to subsidize job training for a handful of corporations, as a sweetener to “close deals,” or as a credit to wealthy investors to hedge their risky ventures – the ACA is an agency whose very job is to pick winners and losers in the marketplace.

“If the legislature sees an advantage to renewing the ACA’s charter, substantive reforms need to be a condition of the renewal.” Club President Scot Mussi said at the hearing.  “That includes a full review of mission, scope and role the ACA would play in promoting broad based economic growth in Arizona.” 

Recently the Auditor General did a full report on the ACA’s practices and performance and the findings were very troubling.  The audit found agency’s job creation claims to be grossly exaggerated.  Instead of reporting actual jobs the ACA claimed to successfully attract, they reported “committed jobs.”  Additionally, it was unclear to the auditor what happened if committed jobs never became actual jobs – in the cases where tax credits are awarded or checks written to select businesses.

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The Arizona Free Enterprise Club is a 501(C)(4) policy and advocacy group that is not affiliated with any other organization. For more information please visit www.azfree.org