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Gov. Brewer Signs Arizona Manufacturer Tax Cut Law

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 4:02pm
Bob Christie, Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) -- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday signed into law a bill that eliminates sales taxes on electricity and natural gas purchased by manufacturers and mining smelters.

Brewer signed Senate Bill 1413 at a Capitol ceremony attended by a couple of dozen business leaders, calling it "another smart tax reform that will bolster job creation in Arizona and our competitive edge."

The tax cut is expected to cost the state general fund at least $17 million a year.

"Since becoming governor, my cornerstone priority has been to make Arizona as attractive as possible for new and expanding businesses, particularly for our manufacturing industry, which generates quality jobs and high wage salaries," Brewer said. "I want Arizona to be No. 1 and be the pro-business state in the nation and we have worked relentlessly to accomplish that."

The governor touted other tax cuts, regulatory reform and business-friendly policies she has championed since she took office in 2009.

"We have listened to what companies want and need to thrive," she said.

Brewer called for the elimination of the tax in her State of the State address in January, saying it was needed to make Arizona more competitive and draw new manufacturing to the state.

The bill received bipartisan support in both legislative chambers, although one conservative Republican in the House of Representatives dissented when it came up for a vote earlier this week.

Rep. Brenda Barton, R-Payson, says the bill places a burden on rural counties that rely on that tax base.

"I am getting to the point that a lot of these special legislation bills that we are promoting are harming the state of Arizona and they are harming our rural counties and our rural cities and I don't believe we are doing a very good job of doing what's right for the right reasons," Barton said.

Others defended the bill.

"I think anytime we can support small businesses and reduce their taxes and large businesses and reduce their taxes, and allow them to reinvest in their business and reinvest in the communities and reinvest in their employees, I think we need to be looking for opportunities to do this," Rep. David Livingston, R-Peoria, said.

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