Arizona Business: We Support Public Services, as Long As Someone Else Pays for It

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Earlier this year, members of the Arizona business community formed a new organization - the Transportation and Infrastructure Moving AZ's Economy or TIME Coalition - to advocate for additional transportation funding and to push for a ballot initiative to generate the revenue necessary to support that funding. At first, that may sound like business leaders acting in a fiscally responsible way to ensure that the state invests in the public structures on which all Arizonans rely.

Two details might make you think otherwise. First, the taxes that the Coalition would like to see raised through the initiative - the general sales tax and the gasoline tax - would fall disproportionately on low- and moderate-income people. Second, as the Arizona Republic points out, some of the members of the TIME Coalition - such as the Arizona Chamber of Commerce - are at the same time actively lobbying for the acceleration of tax cuts for commercial and industrial property and the outright repeal of the currently-suspended equalization assistance property tax. So, while Arizona may need to make critical public investments to foster economic growth and to improve the quality of life in the state, don't expect businesses to pony up - in their view, that's just for working people.

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