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Support for Repeal of the Health Insurance Tax!

Posted By Jack Lunsford, Interum CEO, Arizona Small Business Association, Monday, October 24, 2016

A letter to U.S. Congress Woman Kyrsten Sinema from Jack Lunsford, CEO of ASBA.

Dear Congresswoman Sinema:

I would like to underscore the support of the Arizona Small Business Association and commend you for your efforts to repeal the Health Insurance Tax.  We realize that bipartisan action will be required to stop this harmful HIT, so we are glad you are working to build momentum, especially among your Democratic colleagues, to protect small businesses and their workers.

As you have said many times, the small business community is truly the backbone of the Arizona economy, representing hundreds of thousands companies.  A tax that is aimed directly at these employers is bad for our state and for the nearly 1 million workers who rely on them for their jobs.

I want to reiterate what I have expressed to you previously:  the HIT was poorly designed from the beginning.  If Congress had set out to enact a policy that would add barriers to providing employee health insurance, reduce the number of people covered, and undermine small businesses all at the same time, they couldn’t have done much better than the HIT.  This tax achieves exactly the opposite of what is needed in the healthcare market. At a time when everyone is looking to increase affordability and access, the HIT is taking us in the other direction.  Small businesses were already struggling to recover in this economy.

Now the HIT is making things worse. Few if any ASBA members can afford to lose $5,000 per employee from the bottom line over a decade.  We hear repeatedly from these business owners that they want to bring on new workers, but they are worried about the healthcare costs due to the HIT.  Others are upset that they are being forced to deduct more from their employees’ paychecks to cover the HIT, and they feel bad about the damage that can do to a family’s finances.

ASBA members are particularly dismayed that they and their employees are the ones being asked to pay the price of the HIT.  Nearly 90 percent of small businesses get their health insurance through the fully insured market, but most large companies do not.  The HIT therefore is just another example of giving corporate interests a free pass and handing the bill to the little guy.  It’s not right, and it’s not good public policy.

ASBA is glad to have you on our side, fighting against this misguided, damaging, and unfair tax.  News of the one-year moratorium was well received by the small business community.  Now please keep up the pressure for a permanent HIT repeal.  It’s the only solution that will give Main Street companies the long-range security they need.

With sincere gratitude,

Jack W. Lunsford
Interim President & CEO
Arizona Small Business Association

Tags:  healthcare  HIT Tax  public policy  small business 

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What is Prop 123?

Posted By Gabriel Salcido, Arizona Small Business Association, Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Prop 123 is a ballot measure that, if it passes, will settle a years-long lawsuit and put $3.5 billion into Arizona’s K-12 public schools over the next 10 years without raising taxes.

The majority of the $3.5 billion funding comes from Arizona’s state land trust fund, an invested account that earns income annually and has nearly doubled in value over the past five years.

Voting YES on Prop 123…

  • Injects an additional $3.5 billion into public schools over the next 10 years
  • Doesn’t raise taxes
  • Protects future generations of students
  • Keeps quality teachers in Arizona

How does that work?

How Prop 123 Land Trust Works-01 copy

Arizona’s Permanent Land Endowment Trust Fund is currently worth $5 billion, and the trust earns money each year. Right now, 2.5% of the value of the trust is paid on an annual basis to beneficiaries like K-12 public schools, which own the majority of the trust. A YES vote on Prop 123 would increase the distribution amount to 6.9% from 2.5% for 10 years.


What about future generations?


The nonpartisan Joint Legislative Budget Committee projects that the land trust will grow by more than $1 billion over the next ten years under Prop 123. That means we will maintain the health of the trust to fund future generations of students, the way the trust was intended.

Not only will the land trust continue to grow through the investment of the current funds, it will also grow through the sale of state lands. Right now, Arizona has over 9.2 million acres of unsold trust land worth over $70 billion backing up the current $5 billion trust. As lands are sold over the years, the proceeds will add to the fund, growing the available dollars for education as intended by Arizona’s founders.

What are the benefits?

Increases Classroom Spending.
 $3.5 billion in new money over the next decade will have a real impact on schools. Prop 123 puts more dollars into the classroom, where teachers can make a difference for students.



Keeps Quality Teachers. 
Teachers are fleeing Arizona because of a lack of financial support for education. This will reverse that trend and help pay our teachers what they deserve.



Diverse elementary students in the classroom

Takes A Good First Step. 
Prop 123 is a great first step that brings immediate and sustained funding into the public school system while protecting the trust for future generations of students.




Tags:  Access to Capital  education  public policy 

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Rick Murray Talks About Legislative Luncheon with KQTH

Posted By Ashley Vizzerra, Arizona Small Business Association, Thursday, March 3, 2016

Every Wednesday, Tucson's Morning News spotlights a local business. Today, we speak with Rick Murray from the Arizona Small Business Association.



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Tags:  interview  legislative  podcast  public policy 

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