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Standing in the back of the room, as Democratic lawmakers rolled out their jobs package, was a seasoned economic developer with many notches in his belt.
I asked him what he thought of all the proposals we’ve heard so far. He said he doesn’t like to mix in politics, “but if we don’t do something quick, we’re screwed.”
With those inspiring words, let’s look at the proposals.
The governor and state Economic Development Department Secretary Jon Barela offer the New Century Jobs Agenda, which calls for a single sales factor (companies pay tax only on sales within the stat)e; reducing the corporate income tax from 7.6 percent to 4.9 percent; $10 million to help local governments pay for job-creating infrastructure; $4.75 million for the Job Training Incentive Program, which supports new employee training for qualified companies; a reformed capital outlay process; the Spaceport Informed Consent law; and more money for the MainStreet program.
Democrats presented a three-point plan: public works, potential growth areas, and a Jobs Council.
Most innovative is the Jobs Council, which would meet between sessions to develop a strategic plan. Everybody I’ve talked to likes this idea. When we bring up tax reform and other sticky issues, we need a forum to hammer out solutions.
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