Tag Archives: trent franks

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A Priority For The Next Governor

Three of Arizona’s five Democrat members of Congress last week joined all four of their Republican colleagues from the state to accomplish what a similar bipartisan majority in the Arizona Legislature did earlier this year: It loaded a badly needed shot in the arm for the small-business owners who generate almost every new job in the state and nation.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to make permanent a tax provision that would allow small businesses to write off up to $500,000 in new equipment purchases, and some improvements to real property, instead of depreciating the costs over time. H.R. 4457, titled America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2014, would provide small businesses with expensing levels that are permanent, predictable and at a level adequate to their needs.

This change to Section 179 of the federal tax code, which overwhelmingly passed the House on a 272-144 vote, would prevent the expensing level to fall all the way to $25,000 in 2014, after being at $500,000 from 2010 through 2013. It also indexes the level to inflation. In addition, the House also passed a bill that eases the tax burden on small businesses that change from taxable C-corporate status to S-corporate status.

A quick sample of the small-business owners benefitting from the H.R. 4457 expensing levels would include:

* Your local pizza shop owner who might want to install new ovens and countertops that cost $100,000. He could deduct these capital improvements the same year he makes them, instead of waiting for the current 39 years to get his full depreciation.
* A farmer considering equipment purchases of $300,000 could do so with much more ease, knowing it could all be deducted the year she bought it, instead of only $25,000 of it the first year.
* A contractor looking to buy two work vehicles costing $60,000 would be more inclined to do so. Under current law, only $35,000 could be deducted—spread over five years—instead of all of it immediately.

On June 12, Arizona Democrats Ron Barber, Ann Kirkpatrick and Kyrsten Sinema joined Republicans Paul Gosar, Trent Franks, Matt Salmon and David Schweikert in supporting this pro-jobs legislation. Congressmen Raul Grijalva and Ed Pastor, both Democrats, voted against H.R. 4457. The measure now goes to the U.S. Senate for its consideration.

Earlier this year, a similar tax relief act, House Bill 2664, passed the Arizona Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan majorities. It, too, would have created an immediate state income tax allowance, similar to federal Section 179 expensing for qualifying business equipment investments valued up to $500,000.

In a tragic misreading of the needs of Arizona’s economy, Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed HB 2664 because “the money would be better utilized” on her spending priorities. Undaunted, NFIB is committed to vigorously lobbying Arizona’s next governor and the new Legislature next session to finally realize our own $500,000 allowance to spur new job creation.

Last week’s strong bipartisan House vote to pass H.R. 4457 is very encouraging to small business, especially as demonstrated by the votes of Arizona’s congressional delegation. If Congress and the president do succeed in making it federal law, Arizona’s next governor must match it. If Washington fails, then establishing the small-business expensing allowance in Arizona’s tax code will be all the more critical.

Farrell Quinlan is Arizona state director for the National Federation of Independent Business.

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Arizona congressional races too close to call

Arizona’s three competitive congressional races were too close to call early Wednesday, including the Tucson-centered seat Rep. Ron Barber won in June to replace his former boss, Gabrielle Giffords.

Barber saw his small lead against Republican Martha McSally in the 2nd District disappear just before midnight, with McSally taking a tiny lead.

“We knew it was going to be close and this is exactly what we expected,” she said late Tuesday.

Barber reminded supporters that Giffords’ narrow 2010 win over Republican Jesse Kelly also wasn’t known for several days.

“We’ve got a little bit further to go,” he said. “It’s going to be tomorrow or the day after that.”

Both Giffords and Barber were wounded in January 2011 when a gunman opened fire at a “Congress on Your Corner” event for the then-congresswoman and her constituents. Eleven others also were wounded and six people were killed.

Giffords stepped down from Congress earlier this year to focus on her recovery. Barber beat Kelly in the June special election to replace her.

Kelly chose not to make a third run this fall. McSally, a retired Air Force fighter pilot, won the GOP nomination in August and sought to persuade some of the women and independents who swung to Barber in the special election.

“We knew it was going to be close and this is exactly what we expected,” she said late Tuesday.

In the new Phoenix-area 9th District, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema and Republican Vernon Parker were in a near dead heat.

Both Parker and Sinema acknowledged the wait would be long, and Parker urged his supporters to be patient because thousands of ballots remained uncounted.

“I am telling you all to hang in there,” Parker told supporters in Phoenix. “We will win this thing. I guarantee you.”

Republicans have a slight registration advantage in the district, which includes much of Tempe and parts of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Mesa and Chandler. But both parties’ totals are exceeded by independents, and many believe it leans Democratic.

Sinema told supporters there was good reason to be optimistic.

“Right now we’re going to keep our heads high, take a deep breath and pray for every vote to be counted in this election,” she said.

In northeastern Arizona’s 1st District, Republican Jonathan Paton’s slight lead over Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick diminished as Tuesday night wore on.

Kirkpatrick told supporters she was waiting for results from the Navajo Nation and other tribal areas that she hopes will put her back on top. The district runs from Flagstaff through eastern Arizona counties and then west into parts of Pinal County.

“Our race is looking good, but we’re not going to know for quite a while,” she said.

Depending on the outcome, Democrats could end up with a majority of the delegation or Republicans could hold on or add to their current 5-3 majority. The state earned a ninth seat after the 2010 Census and will fill it for the first time in November.

Voters in six districts chose their representatives along the expected 4-2 party split in favor of Republicans.

Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva won re-election in the 3rd District, freshman GOP Rep. Paul Gosar easily won in the 4th District and former Republican Rep. Matt Salmon coasted to victory in the 5th.

Republican Reps. David Schweikert and Trent Franks were re-elected in the 6th and 8th districts while Democratic Rep. Ed Pastor cruised in the 7th District.

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Franks earns 2012 Wireless Consumer Hero Award

The bipartisan, pro-consumer advocacy group, MyWireless.org, awarded Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-02) with the 2012 Wireless Consumer Hero Award for his commitment to wireless tax relief for American consumers and businesses.

Congressman Franks is one of the original sponsors of the bipartisan ‘Wireless Tax Fairness Act’ (H.R. 1002) and was instrumental in its passage in the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2011. Franks has frequently cited the need for Americans to have affordable access to wireless networks to stay connected to friends and family and run successful businesses.

“Access to wireless networks represents a key component of millions of Americans’ livelihoods, providing the efficient communications capabilities – whether phone, broadband internet, or otherwise – necessary to run a successful business. Aside from being unfair and discriminatory, the exorbitant taxes that are currently being levied against wireless customers serve as yet another burden on Americans who are already struggling in the midst of a recession of record proportions,” said Rep. Franks. “I’m honored to receive this award and look forward to seeing progress toward giving the millions of hard-working Americans who rely on the nation’s wireless networks a more fair deal and an opportunity to run their businesses without the excessive taxes on the communications services upon which they rely.”

Wireless devices have become an easy target for new taxes as cash-strapped state and local governments look for new sources of income. As a result, the average wireless consumer pays more than 16% in combined monthly federal, state and local wireless taxes and fees. That’s more than double the average sales tax rate for other goods and services.

“This legislation is an excellent example of lawmakers from both parties coming together to address increasingly unfair efforts by state and local governments to balance their books on the backs of wireless consumers.” said Steve Largent, President & CEO of CTIA – The Wireless Association. “On behalf of our consumer advocacy group, MyWireless.org, we especially want to thank Congressman Franks for his work defending wireless users across the nation from more unfair, new state and local wireless taxes and fees.”

The Wireless Tax Fairness Act would prohibit state and local governments from adding any new taxes and fees on a specific communications service, such as wireless, for five years. This five-year freeze would give wireless consumers a much-needed break from even higher taxes and fees, and a window to develop a tax and fee structure that is fair and sensible. The U.S. Senate is currently considering its companion bill (S. 543).

Arizona School Choice Trust

Arizona School Choice Trust, Tax Credit Gives Students Hope

The mission of Arizona School Choice Trust is to provide hope and opportunity to Arizona’s neediest children. We need your help to continue to provide educational options to these desperate families. Corporations can be a part of our amazing success stories by participating in Arizona’s Corporate Tax Credit Program. Corporations with an Arizona corporate income tax or insurance premium tax liability can redirect up to 100 percent of their tax liability to Arizona School Choice Trust and receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for their contribution. The process to enroll is very simple, and it costs nothing to participate — but it makes all the difference to families across Arizona.

One grateful scholarship recipient, Jorge, recently spoke at the Arizona capitol about his experience in the program.  He called the opportunities he has received “life transforming.” His mother Lydia added, “the education provided with generous tax credit contributions has allowed Jorge to reach his true potential.”

Another story of a life touched by School Choice is told by foster parent Carol. Anthony spent the first years of his life in poverty, even experiencing homelessness. Carol says, “Thank you to the many donors who have found it in their hearts to give children like Anthony an opportunity for a better life.”

Our success stories are the reason we are so dedicated to School Choice. We believe that every child deserves the chance to reach their potential. Arizona School Choice Trust scholarships make that possible.

Arizona School Choice Trust is leading the way with new and innovative outreach to the community. In addition to working closely with school choice leaders statewide, we were proud to participate in one of the largest school choice celebrations in the nation.

One highlight of School Choice Week 2012 was a Congressional Town Hall held on January 24th. It was a great opportunity for supporters, educators and children alike to hear directly from their representatives in Washington DC. Participating in the event were Congressman Trent Franks, Congressman Ben Quayle, Congressman David Schweikert and Congressman Jeff Flake. The Congressmen answered questions posed by moderator Jonathan Butcher, Goldwater Institute’s education director, and Lisa Graham Keegan, former Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction. Attendees voiced strong support for expanded school choice options and encouraged their representatives to continue fighting on behalf of Arizona’s children.

To watch videos from this town hall, or to learn more about Arizona School Choice Trust, visit asct.com. Here, you can learn more here about how your corporation can participate in the growing school choice movement as well.