Lawless: CREED opposes ‘clean energy’ Prop 127
Commercial Real-estate Executives for Economic Development (CREED) which is a 501C4 social welfare organization composed of Arizona owners of more than 70 million square feet and more than 5,000 small business tenants across most product niches, strongly encourages a “NO” vote on the so-called “Clean Energy” Initiative on the November ballot, Proposition 127.
California political activist and billionaire Tom Steyer is trying to use Arizona as a laboratory for a constitutional amendment that pushes his business and political interests in renewable energy. This measure, entitled “Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona Amendment” will require state utilities to provide at least 50% of their annual retail sales of electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
This initiative will have a negative impact on capital investment and production costs for these utilities that will lead to significant rate increases on customers.
Not only will utility rates go up for our citizens, the Steyer initiative will drive up utility costs for state and local governments and especially K-12 schools whose costs may well double by 2030. Worse than rate increases, this will lead to a major tax increase borne by Arizona citizens and disproportionately paid by the business community due to the inequitable property tax assessment ratio.
It is for the key reason that business property taxes will likely rise that CREED is opposed. CREED was organized to promote the social welfare of our citizens by supporting economic development policies that will bring high wage jobs to our state principally by focusing on un-competitive property tax burdens that hamper this job creation.
Per the ASU Seidman study, the state will lose $8.6 billion in gross state product, up to 67,423 job years of employment and $2.9 billion in disposable personal income by 2030. This will translate into a combination of budget cuts and tax increases as the property tax base erodes to pay for the doubling of utility costs for schools which is a major line-item. This double whammy will not be good for our kids nor those trying to make ends meet on a home budget.
As a result, CREED urges a strong NO vote on Prop 127.
Tim Lawless is President of Commercial Real-estate Executives for Economic Development (CREED)