February Newsletter

The Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce joined dozens of business leaders from across the State at the Chamber Advocacy Day at the Legislature at the front of February. We had the opportunity to hear from and interact with statewide elected officials that are in the process of crafting legislation that will be of direct impact to your business. We heard from Representative Justin Olson and Senator Don Shooter Chairmen of the House & Senate Appropriations and their commitment for a structurally balanced budget. Their sentiments were echoed by Senate President Andy Biggs and Speaker of the House David Gowan. Corporation Commissioners Tom Forese and Doug Little spoke about the impact that the Commission has on the business community as it relates to regulating utilities, railroad and pipeline safety and business regulations.

We also had a discussion on the importance of reforming and streamlining the Transaction Privilege Tax (HB2590). The current law has been problematic for contractors. The new reform bill, which has overwhelming support, aims to move Arizona towards a materials tax at the point of sale and reduce current confusion on implementation of the TPT law.

On behalf of our local breweries Stuart McDaniel and Julie Pastrick both were able to participate in a rally and testify in support of SB1030, the Arizona Beer Bill sponsored by Senator Kelli Ward. The bill passed out of committee 6-2 and the opposition seems to be diminishing. This is the bill that will allow our local microbrewers to grow and thrive producing the volume of product that their business model dictates without fears of having their restaurants shut down. Lumberyard Brewery was also at the rally.

Another piece of legislation we’re following is indexing state income tax brackets to inflation (HB2001) which will prevent additional tax burdens on those whose income increases with the rate of inflation. We expect this to pass the Senate & the House and be forwarded to Gov. Ducey for signature.
Educational attainment is a critical focus of the Greater Flagstaff Chamber and in our Education Division work. We will continue to work with our legislature on ways to bring more money into the classroom and support Caviat and our Universities among many other initiatives.

We will continue to weigh in on legislation at the State Capitol on your behalf and keep you informed.
The Chamber continues to lead in the region as well. We recently reconvened the Chamber Alliance of Northern Arizona (CANA) comprised of Chamber executives from Sedona, Cottonwood, Winslow, Page, Kingman, Holbrook, Grand Canyon, Williams and of course Flagstaff here in our offices. The purpose is to create a unified business voice and increase visibility to our region in the areas of economic development, tourism and specific legislative topics important to regional business success.
Locally we continue to stay active on many business advocacy efforts. As the discussion regarding how best to deal with plastic bags has intensified, we have been invited by the City Manager and the Sustainability Department to be a part of a committee to come up with a solution. We will have a series of meetings with other community leaders and make a recommendation to Council. The goal of keeping Flagstaff clean and beautiful by reducing litter is something we can all agree on.

The Chamber is also now being represented on the Tourism Commission by our Membership Director Nicole Benko and on the Airport Commission by Stuart McDaniel, Government Affairs Director. These appointments help keep our work focused on tourism and economic development in many exciting ways and the voice of our member businesses solid in the center of these discussions.

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