Chambers of commerce across Arizona are opposing Proposition 208, the initiative to raise Arizona’s top individual income tax rate by 77.7%.
Nearly 20 chambers and chamber coalitions from rural and metro areas representing Arizona businesses large and small have joined the opposition, citing the damage the initiative would inflict on Arizona’s business environment and its failure to deliver for schools and teachers.
The local chambers join a broad coalition of small business organizations, trade and industry associations, and the world’s largest business advocacy group, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, united in opposition to this pernicious tax increase scheme.
“The Chandler Chamber of Commerce is deeply invested in the success of our area’s schools,” Chandler Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Terri Kimble said. “Unfortunately, Proposition 208 would do far more harm than good. By targeting small business with a huge tax increase, Proposition 208 risks delaying our recovery from the pandemic-induced slowdown, and an anemic economy means fewer resources for schools going forward, not more.”
Amber Smith, president and CEO of the Tucson Metro Chamber, said education funding is a priority issue for her chamber, but that Proposition 208 will make Arizona’s tax code noncompetitive regionally and nationally and hurt small businesses, which comprise more than 85% of the Tucson region’s businesses.
“Education is a top priority for the Tucson Metro Chamber and our member businesses – it must be. Today’s students are tomorrow’s workforce,” Smith said. “However, Prop. 208 is a misguided and inadequate attempt to fund education in Arizona. As a result, the Tucson Metro Chamber encourages its members to vote ‘NO’ on Proposition 208.”
Deanna Kupcik, president and CEO of the Buckeye Valley Chamber of Commerce, said her members believe a thriving economy is essential for Arizona’s K-12 sector to have adequate funding.
“Buckeye and the entire West Valley have experienced tremendous growth over the last decade, and that economic growth has led to unprecedented investments in our schools and teacher salaries,” Kupcik said. “But if Proposition 208 passes and the income tax rate on small businesses exceeds the rate paid by big businesses, we put our entire economy at risk and jeopardize future K-12 resources.”
The following chambers of commerce are opposing Proposition 208:
- Apache Junction Chamber of Commerce
- Buckeye Valley Chamber of Commerce
- Carefree-Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce
- Chandler Chamber of Commerce
- Coolidge Chamber of Commerce
- Fountain Hills Chamber of Commerce
- Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Phoenix Chamber
- Green Valley Chamber of Commerce
- Mesa Chamber of Commerce
- Nogales-Santa Cruz County Chamber of Commerce
- Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce
- Queen Creek Chamber of Commerce
- Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce
- Southwest Valley Chamber of Commerce
- Tempe Chamber of Commerce
- Tucson Metro Chamber
- Yuma County Chamber of Commerce
- East Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance