Gov. Brewer: "That Money is not Yours to Give" by Julie Smith

November 24, 2013

Dear Governor Brewer,

Greetings.  I am a governing board member of the Gilbert Public Schools District and wish to share constituent input I recently received when a vote of a letter of no objection was before me for a foreign trade zone approval in the City of Mesa. 

I object to the idea of our government allowing tax breaks, incentives and/or subsidies to companies as a means of attracting business.  I believe it is wrong for government to pick winners and losers- that is for the free market to decide with a level playing field.  I spoke with parents, grandparents, and members of the business community about the vote before me and the idea of our state and City of Mesa allowing tax breaks to lure a company into the community.  Every person I spoke with believed this is not a fair situation and that all businesses should be treated the same including the tax rate.    Every individual was opposed to the favoritism being shown to the company in question.    This practice is contrary to the Arizona Republican Platform.  In Section 1 ‘Taxes, Jobs and the Economy’, parts 1-4 which states:  

The Arizona Republican Party:

1.Believes hardworking businesses and entrepreneurs create jobs and drive the economy. Government should reduce regulations, fees, and taxes to foster an ideal economic and business climate, government should not favor one private concern over another through the use of subsidies.

2.Believes we should continue to develop, maintain and improve a favorable climate for business, job creation, and entrepreneurship.

3.Supports only essential government regulation and calls on our elected officials to repeal those regulations upon individuals and businesses which are obsolete, unnecessary, or serve only to restrict personal freedom.

4.Believes reducing taxes not necessary to pay for essential government services creates jobs and economic growth, encourages new businesses to come to Arizona, and ultimately increases public sector revenues in our state.

As a taxpaying citizen of our great state, I was further upset to learn the day after my vote that your office arranged a $10 million dollar grant to the same company in addition to the tax breaks.   To that decision, I repeat the famous phrase stated to Davy Crockett, “That money was not yours to give.”    How many years will the 700 jobs created by this company need to be employed before our state breaks even?  I am deeply disappointed by the decisions you have made as our governor in this deal.

The Arizona House and Senate hold the majority of your party governor.  You have the ability to lower taxes for all business in our state.  By lowering the corporate tax rate, our state will be more competitive and attractive to bringing in new companies.  I look forward to your initiative this next legislative session that decreases taxes for all businesses in the state of Arizona!

Respectfully,

Julie Smith
Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board Clerk

PS    I will mail you a copy of the “Not Yours to Give” speech.  The words of wisdom contained in this speech are just as applicable, if not more today as when first spoken almost two centuries ago.