Tag Archives: Director of Public Affairs

sales.tax

Arizona Business Community Supports HB2111

The undersigned organizations and businesses want to express their strong support for the passage of HB2111 with the floor amendment that will be offered by Senator Steve Yarbrough. This final amendment represents major concessions to address concerns that have been expressed by the city representatives.

This final amendment reflects the cities’ request for a separate online portal for the collection of sales taxes in the 18 non-program cities. In addition, the amendment reflects the cities’ demand to maintain the authority to audit single-location businesses in their city. Lastly, the amendment removes all of the changes to prime contracting tax except for the trade and service contractors.

While the Yarbrough amendment reflects major concessions to the cities that undermine some of the important reforms recommended by the Transaction Privilege (Sales) Tax Simplification Task Force, we believe this final proposal still reflects historic progress that deserves final passage.

The Senator Yarbrough floor amendment will provide for the following:

* Single Point of Administration – the Department of Revenue (DOR) will become the single point of administration and collection of TPT. However, at the request of the cities, there will be a separate online portal for the 18 non-program cities. Despite this concession, the cities remain opposed because they want to continue to require businesses making paper sales tax remissions to pay the state and city separately. Their proposal provides most small businesses no administrative relief from making multiple payments to multiple jurisdictions each month.

* Single and Uniform Audit – DOR will administer a standardized state audit program where all state and city auditors are trained and certified by DOR. Despite major concessions from the business community to allow cities to continue to audit local businesses, the cities continue to push for further changes that will undermine much needed reforms to standardize state and local audits.

* Trade/Service Contracting Reform – Service contractors working directly for an owner to maintain, repair, and replace existing property would pay tax on materials at retail and not be subject to the Prime Contracting Tax. During Task Force deliberations, the cities repeatedly conceded that this area of the prime contracting tax was problematic and should be changed. However, after almost a year of study and discussion, they have offered a change to the taxation of service contractors that provides no administrative relief and couples that change with a request that the state give the cities $80 million from use tax collections.

Arizona’s chaotic and dysfunctional sales tax system has been the subject of considerable controversy at the Capitol for over 30 years. The creation of the Task Force, as well as the appearance for the first time that the cities recognized the need for reform, gave Arizona businesses great hope that this system would finally be reformed. We strongly encourage state policymakers to pass a sales tax reform bill that is grounded in sound tax policy and focuses on reducing the extraordinary compliance costs on Arizona businesses.

Kevin McCarthy, President, Arizona Tax Research Association
Michelle Lind, Chief Executive Officer, Arizona Association of REALTORS
Bas Aja, Executive Vice President, Arizona Cattlemen’s Association
Glenn Hamer, President & CEO, Arizona Chamber of Commerce
Steve Macias, Chairman, Arizona Manufacturer’s Council
Francis McAllister, Chairman, Arizona Mining Association
Courtney LeVinus, Arizona Multihousing Association
Michelle Allen Ahlmer, Executive Director, Arizona Retailers Association
Steve Chucri, President/CEO, Arizona Restaurant Association
Rick Murray, Chief Executive Officer, Arizona Small Business Association
Steve Zylstra, President & CEO, Arizona Technology Council
Greg Turner, Vice President, Senior Tax Council, Council On State Taxation (COST)
Lisa Rigler, President, Small Business Alliance AZ
Todd Sanders, President & CEO, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
Tom Franz, President, Greater Phoenix Leadership
Connie Wilhelm, President, Home Builders Association of Central Arizona
Tim Lawless, Chapter President, NAIOP
Farrell Quinlan, Arizona State Director, NFIB
Ronald E. Shoopman, President, Southern Arizona Leadership Council
Scot Mussi, President, The Arizona Free Enterprise Club
Matt Beckler, Vice President, Treasurer & Chief Tax Officer, Apollo Group, Inc.
Steve Barela, State & Local Tax Manager, Arizona Public Service
Steve Trussell, Executive Director, Arizona Rock Products Association
Michael DiMaria, Director of Legislative Affairs, CenturyLink, Inc.
Gayle Shanks, Owner, Changing Hands Bookstore
Michelle Bolton, Director of Public Affairs, Cox Communications
Nikki Daly, Owner, Flair! Salons
David Karsten, President, Karsten’s Ace Hardware
Reuben Minkus, Minkus Advertising Specialties
PetSmart, Inc.
Tina Danloe, General Manager, Pima Ace Hardware
Molly Greene, Senior Government Relations Representative, Salt River Project
Les Orchekowsky, President & Co-Owner, Sierra Ace Hardware, Inc.
Ann Seiden, Administrator/Corporate Public Affairs, Southwest Gas Corporation
Joseph Hughes, Director of Government Affairs, U.S. Airways
Walgreens Co.

Glenn Hamer is president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to advancing Arizona’s competitive position in the global economy by advocating free-market policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans.

michelleboltonheadshot

Bolton becomes Cox’s Director of Public Affairs

BCox Communications has announced Michelle Bolton as its new director of public affairs for Cox Phoenix. Bolton will develop and coordinate the company’s Arizona legislative strategy and manage the Cox government relations team’s day-to-day interaction with local and state agencies. She’ll also direct and manage Cox’s social media engagement on public affairs issues.

Before coming to Cox, Bolton served as vice president of public affairs and economic development for the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. As principle public policy advocate and legislative spokesperson for Arizona’s largest chamber, she advanced the political agenda of the organization at the state and local levels.  She also managed the Chamber’s Super PAC and built and executed its business retention and expansion programs to promoting economic development efforts in the Greater Phoenix region.

“Michelle has been an influential government affairs advocate and well-respected professional at the Arizona State Legislature, in Arizona state government and on the local scene for the past 13 years. We are very excited to have Michelle join our team!” said Susan Anable, Cox vice president of public affairs southwest region.

Bolton also spent 10 years as Arizona state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, where she was the bridge between the organization’s 10,000 small business members and lawmakers, state agencies and the community. Her work with legislators and stakeholders led to meaningful legislation in health care, regulatory reform and unemployment insurance reform.

Her 17-year career in legislative affairs includes grassroots efforts on behalf of the American Land Title Association; strategy, fundraising and media planning for the Associated Builders and Contractors; two years as government affairs director for the REALTORS Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh (PA); and a year as an aide to U.S. Representative (and later Senator) Rick Santorum.

Bolton is a graduate of Arizona State University and earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Arizona.

Stephanie Healy

Healy joins Cox southwestern leadership team

Cox Communications has announced Stephanie Barat Healy as its new director of public affairs for Southern Arizona.  Healy will be responsible for all Cox Public Affairs and Community Relations activities in Pima and Cochise counties.

“We are honored to have Stephanie heading up our southern Arizona Cox Communications Public Affairs team,” said Lisa Lovallo, Vice President and Market Manger, Southern Arizona.  “Stephanie and her family have been in Tucson for many years.  She cares deeply about our community and has a proven track record of bring diverse groups together to address public policy issues in a collaborative, sensitive and positive way.  She will be a great addition to our team.”

Prior to Cox, Healy held the position of executive vice president for the Southern Arizona Leadership Council (SALC). Her experience directing and implementing public policy and external relations activities for SALC will make for a smooth transition into her new role at Cox.

Healy has also served as president of the Hospital Council of Southern Arizona where she managed all aspects of a not for profit membership organization that included fourteen regional hospitals with a purpose of working collectively to improve the region’s health care climate and system.

Healy also held the position of Director of Economic Development for the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce where she oversaw the division’s development of programs that promoted Tucson as a center for global trade and investment.

Healy became a Flinn-Brown Academy Fellow in fall 2011 after being nominated and accepted into the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership; a unique statewide program to nurture and develop leaders. She has also been recognized by Tucson Lifestyle as a key community leader working to build Tucson’s high-tech economy.

After relocating from Chicago nearly seventeen years ago, Healy resides in Tucson and is married to Tim Healy, vice president of Brokerage Services for CB Richard Ellis in Tucson.  The Healys have two children.