The Arizona Chapter of NAIOP, the commercial real estate development association, announced today that it will oppose the “Invest in Education Act,” which may appear on the November 2020 ballot, due to its negative impact on small businesses that file taxes under the individual income tax code. The initiative would put a heavy burden on small business owners to pay increased taxes. 

The commercial real estate industry relies heavily on economic growth, which is supported by a strong education system that attracts new businesses to Arizona. However, the proposed “Invest in Education Act” risks damaging the competitive tax and economic environment Arizona has worked to build. NAIOP advocates instead for reinforcing the recovery of Arizona’s small businesses to promote the overall good of the economy, which will, in turn, provide resources to public education. 

The devastating impact of COVID-19 related closures still wears heavily on many businesses. Employee layoffs, losses in revenue and unanticipated expenses related to the restructuring that took place to protect the health of customers and remaining workers have led to severe financial challenges for many businesses. An increase in taxes would be a further blow to companies trying to rebuild.

“We believe a well-educated workforce is essential to the livelihood of Arizona. However, implementing a funding mechanism that singles out a small sliver of taxpayers will have a negative, long-lasting effect on small businesses,” said Suzanne Kinney, NAIOP Arizona President and CEO. “Reinforcing the economic recovery post-COVID-19, will benefit our public education systems in the long run.” 

Before the global pandemic, Arizona was among the leading states in the nation for job growth. Focusing on regrowth and recovery will improve state revenues and resources for schools for years to come.