U.S. Chamber discusses tax reform with Arizona leaders

On Monday, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry hosted Caroline Harris, vice president of tax policy and economic development, and Ed Mortimer, vice president of transportation and infrastructure, both from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Harris gave an update on tax reform and an inside look at some of the compromises that were made in order to pass this landmark legislation. She explained that while the policy, done under reconciliation, was confined by the budget, policymakers were still able to make major headway on the stiflingly high corporate and pass through tax rates.

Harris says it is still too early to predict exactly how each state will choose to adjust to the federal tax code, as it will entirely depend on the unique needs and budget constraints of the state.

While Harris conceded that there are aspects of the policy that may need adjusting in the future, and more can always be done to improve and simplify the tax code, she mentioned to the group “the only thing that is unacceptable was maintaining the status quo.”

The lunch continued with Ed Mortimer, who explained how the tax code and infrastructure combine to ensure our forward growth and long-term prosperity as a nation.

Now that the country has taken steps toward a more modern, internationally competitive tax code, we need the infrastructure to match in order to support a thriving economy and aid it forward.

Mortimer outlined the U.S. Chamber’s plan for a modernized infrastructure, which includes implementing a 25 cent increase to the federal fuel user tax, leveraging more private and public sources of funding, streamlining permitting processes at local, state and federal levels and bolstering the American workforce through work-based learning and comprehensive immigration reform.

Mortimer admits, however, that the process of massively improving our outdated infrastructure will require time and patience, a theme to which both he and Harris routinely referenced.

Ava Montoya

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