Monthly Archives: July 2014

Manufacturing Tax Exemption: Get in the Know

During the last legislative session, state leaders took a giant step toward supporting the ‘Arizona Comeback’ by passing legislation to update Arizona’s sales tax code to be more competitive with our neighboring states in terms of tax policy. Effective August 1, 2014, Arizona will no longer tax the sales of electricity or natural gas used for manufacturing or smelting purposes.

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BidSource: Missed Opportunities

Since 1988, the Chamber has fostered business growth through its procurement service, BidSource. Last year, more than one million matched procurement opportunities were delivered to BidSource clients who were awarded more than $180 million in contracts supporting more than 3,615 jobs in our region!

BidSource aggregates bid opportunities available with the Federal government, Arizona government agencies, school districts, colleges, universities and tribal communities plus government bid opportunities available in California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and western Texas.

The US Government is the single largest procurer of goods and services in the world. In 2012, the federal government awarded 15, 286 contracts, totaling $11.5 Billion in Arizona. Among the last 51 new Federal contracts awarded for work to be performed in Arizona, 25 have gone to companies not physically located in Arizona.Additionally, those 49 percent of contracts represent 58 percent of the total dollar value.

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Water: It’s Everywhere

On July 8 the Greater Phoenix Chamber’s Agriculture, Water and Environment hosted five panelists to provide an overview and discuss the potential impacts of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Waters of the U.S. rule with Chamber members.

The panelists included Henry Darwin of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality,  Tom Buschatzke of the Arizona Department of Water Resources,  Jay Johnson of the Central Arizona Project,  Rob Anderson of Fennemore Craig and and Stefanie Smallhouse of the AZ Farm Bureau.

The presentation and information provided by the panelists illustrated the proposed EPA rule is broad in scope and could potentially impact several industries and state agencies. From farming and ranching, to construction and small businesses, to water resource planning prepared by the state, the reach of the EPA’s proposed regulation is far and wide, and can vary depending on interpretation of the rule.

Those interested in commenting on the proposed rule can do so online. The public commenting period ends on July 21, 2014.

For more information about the proposed rule visit the U.S. Chamber.

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Maricopa County FY 2014-15 Budget

The Board of Supervisors for Maricopa County recently adopted a $2.2 billion dollar budget. The budget focuses on public safety investments such as funding more personnel, reflects the priority of maintaining the county’s Triple A bond rating, and supports government operations that focus on creating efficiencies by streamlining processes and supporting economic development efforts.

For more information about Maricopa County’s budget, check Supervisor Chucri’s column in Ahwatukee Foothill News.  County budget documents can be found online.

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Trekking Around: A Freight Policy Roundtable

On June 17, Greater Phoenix Chamber members had the opportunity to discuss U.S. and Arizona freight policy with Federal Highway Administration’s Deputy Administrator Gregory G. Nadeau.

Over the course of several months, the Department of Transportation has partnered with local hosts, like the Chamber, to hold regional freight policy specific roundtables with state and local transportation representatives, the business community and other stakeholders.

In front of a robust and diverse attendance, Nadeau kicked off the Chamber’s roundtable discussion with brief remarks regarding the vitality of the country’s freight transportation network.

Nadeau said transportation needs should be viewed from a system standpoint—as a part of a single interlocking system of transportation that considers cargo capacity, congestions, efficiencies, safety and infrastructure impacts.

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Economic Development Initiatives Key to Phoenix Job Growth

Recently, Phoenix was ranked as the sixth best metropolitan city in terms of beating job growth expectations. The city added 54,000 more jobs than expected over the course of the last three years. Economic development initiatives helped spur job growth in fields like higher education and manufacturing. These efforts are instrumental to a prosperous future.

The state must continually evaluate the strength of its foundation and develop a strategic plan for investing in long-term projects that will attract people and businesses to the region, while continuing to foster existing and new industries and innovation. The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce believes the coming years will be instrumental to creating the platform with which to grow a thriving business environment and strong economy for Arizona.

A prime example is the passage of SB 1413, which exempted sales tax on electricity used in the manufacturing process. Until the passage of SB 1413, Arizona was one of the few states that taxed energy sources used by manufacturing facilities, while leaving other consumables and materials used in the same processes un-taxed. The bill’s passage makes our state more attractive for the attraction and retention of manufacturing firms. Manufacturing is experiencing a comeback in the United States.

We have an opportunity to keep building on the Arizona Comeback. We can continue to diversify our economy through strategic choices that help our state retain, expand and attract investment from industries with high wage jobs for Arizonans.

 

 

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