Last week it was announced with great fanfare that Apple is moving to Arizona, buying the abandoned First Solar factory plant in east Mesa. And just like the First Solar project in 2011 that produced similar jubilation, politicians and special interest groups seem eager to shower Apple with lavish subsidies and targeted incentives at the expense of taxpayers and small businesses.
Of course, having new ventures like Apple locate to Arizona and create 700 new jobs is undoubtedly a positive development and a good sign for our economy. The question is why Apple and other similar announcements should receive special treatment over the thousands of other jobs created in our state without a special deal. By comparison, here are the latest job creation figures for Arizona through September:
Additionally, the Office of Employment and Population Statistics is now projecting that 48,500 jobs will be created in 2013. In other words, approximately 98% of private sector job growth in Arizona in 2013 will involve no special incentives or tax breaks from government. It is the 98% that pays for the targeted subsidies provided to the 2% of companies that are lucky enough to receive them.
This is bad tax policy and is unfair to the vast majority of job creators. Rather than picking winners and losers through special tax incentives, we should be focusing on broad based tax relief and reform that encourages our $200 Billion dollar economy to grow and prosper. We know that sensible tax policy doesn’t make for great ribbon cutting ceremonies or photo ops for our elected officials, but is a far better approach for a healthy business climate.