Bill would make corporate tax credits public

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Breann Bierman

A House committee has approved a bill that would make some tax credits claimed by corporations public information.

House Bill 2586 would require the state Department of Revenue to submit an annual report detailing the names of companies who get corporate credits of $5,000 or more and to make that report public.

Republican bill sponsor Darin Mitchell of Litchfield Park says the bill would create transparency and allow policy makers to examine whether such tax credits are effective for economic development.

Another sponsor of the bill is Adam Kwasman(R) of Oro Valley.

"Accountability is the name of the game," said Kwasman. "Annual reporting of where our tax credits are going and making sure they are being used in the right way and right fashion, that's the first step in making sure we have true accountability."

Arizona Tax Rsearch Association president Kevin McCarthy opposes the bill because it could subject corporations to public shaming for taking advantage of legal tax credits.

McCarthy said that companies are doing nothing wrong by taking advantage of legal tax credits.

"It turns more into a public shaming exercise where the general public may not understand the context of the tax credit," said McCarthy. "When this informnation is extracted and put into these kinds of reports it very rarely is going to be in a good light. The context of the story is not going to include why the legislature did this."

The bill passed the House Ways and Means Committee unanimously Monday and heads to the full House after a routine Rules Committee review.

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