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Small-business owners call for less regulation, lower taxes

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PHOENIX – Reducing taxes and government regulation would help Arizona’s small businesses bolster the economy and create jobs, advocates said Tuesday in making their case to state lawmakers.

“We want the government to do less,” Farrell Quinlan, state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, said during Small Business Day outside the State Capitol.

Participants pointed to HB 2260, authored by Rep. Tom Forese, R-Gilbert, which would require state agencies that regulate businesses to post online and provide in print a Small Business Bill of Rights. In addition to detailing business owners’ rights under state law, it would explain how businesses can go about filing complaints against agencies.

In addition, the agencies would have to report each year to the office of the Arizona Ombudsman-Citizens’ Aide the number complaints filed against them and where those complaints stand.

Quinlan said that small business owners too often are bullied by overzealous auditors and regulators at the expense of Arizona’s economy.

“A vibrant small business community is key to job creation,” he said.

Patricia King, executive director of the Arizona Wine Growers Association, said she’s eager to see lawmakers approve legislation that would among other proposed changes increase production caps for the state’s wineries and allow for more off-site tasting rooms.

“Any bill that results in less regulation would be attractive to us,” she said.

William Feyerabend, an independent insurance broker, said he wants lawmakers to address education funding and improve highways.

“Are you really going to recruit people with a bad education system and second world highways?” he said.

Addressing the group, House Speaker Andy Tobin, R-Paulden, said the state needs to address its infrastructure.

“It’s time to make some investments in Arizona,” he said.

Rep. Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix, the House minority leader, said one of his priorities is improving access to broadband Internet.

“Arizona is behind on technological infrastructure,” he said.