Busy day: Brewer okays electricity sales tax bill

Jeremy Duda//April 11, 2014

Busy day: Brewer okays electricity sales tax bill

Jeremy Duda//April 11, 2014

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (Photo by Ryan Cook/RJ Cook Photography)

Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law her top economic development priority of the year, a bill exempting manufacturers from paying sales taxes on the electricity and natural gas they consume.

At a bill-signing ceremony on Friday, Brewer said SB1413 would make Arizona more attractive for manufacturers that create high-wage, high-quality jobs. Brewer unveiled the plan in her State of the State address in January.

“Until today, Arizona was one of only a handful of states that imposed this tax. And ending it removes one more barrier to business expansion and job creation. Eliminating this tax will boost our competitive edge in attracting and expanding manufacturing in our state,” Brewer said while surrounded by CEOs and other members of the business community.

Steve Macias, president and CEO of Pivot Manufacturing, chairman of the Arizona Manufacturing Council and an Arizona Commerce Authority board member, said SB1413 would reduce Arizona manufacturers’ operating costs by $18 million per year.

“This will now serve as an excellent economic tool to help attract manufacturers to our state. Attraction and retention are extremely important to small businesses like mine and hundreds of other small businesses in Arizona,” Macias said.

In the fiscal year 2015 budget, Brewer line-item vetoed $1.3 million that was to reimburse counties for the sales tax revenue they’ll lose from SB1413.

Another Brewer economic development bill, SB1412, has stalled in the House of Representatives and appears to be dead for the year. The bill would have accelerated the depreciation schedule for business equipment designated in foreign trade zones. Brewer told the Arizona Capitol Times that she’s hopeful that the bill will still pass.