Arizona Property Tax Break For Business Equipment Amendment, Proposition 116 (2012)

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Proposition 116
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Type:Constitutional amendment
Constitution:Arizona Constitution
Referred by:Arizona State Legislature
Status:Defeated Defeatedd
The Arizona Property Tax Break For Business Equipment Amendment, also known as Proposition 116, was on the November 6, 2012 general election ballot in the state of Arizona as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment where it was defeated. The measure gave businesses in the state a break on property taxes on newly acquired business equipment. The proposal was sent to the ballot during 2012 state legislative session.[1]

Election results

See also: 2012 ballot measure election results

The following are unofficial election results:

Arizona Proposition 116
Defeatedd No75973756.4%
Yes 587634 43.6%

Precinct totals are not final and have not yet been reported

Results via the Arizona Republic.

Text of the measure


The summary of the measure read as follows:[2]

A Concurrent Resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Arizona; Amending Article IX, Section 2, Constitution of Arizona; Relating to property tax exemptions.[3]


  • The main campaign in favor of the measure is Vote Yes on 116.
  • The campaign states on their website, "When our small businesses invest in new equipment and machinery they also must hire new workers to operate those machines. The Small Business Job Creation Act rolls back Arizona’s heavy equipment and machinery tax that’s owed before any new workers are hired or any new production is realized. This burdensome equipment and machinery tax makes it much harder to attract new businesses to Arizona and discourages our home-grown small businesses from taking the risk of expanding and creating more jobs."
  • State Senator Steve Smith stated, "Prop. 116 will help create thousands of new jobs in Arizona by removing one of the heaviest drags on our small businesses by reducing the tax that they incur the moment they acquire new equipment and machinery and before they hire one worker or make any product to sell. Also, the new investment spurred by passage of Prop. 116 will be 100 percent financed by the private sector, precisely where it ought to be financed from."[4]


The following are arguments that were submitted to the Arizona Secretary of State for the state voter guide. More arguments can be read here:

  • "Let's bring Arizona out of the recession! History shows that small businesses are the source of two-thirds of all new private sector jobs when we come out of an economic downturn. I believe it's the responsibility of government to do what it can to help our small businesses lead us to growth and prosperity. That doesn't mean government should pick winners and losers and it certainty doesn't mean spending taxpayer dollars on outright subsides. No, our small businesses succeed in spite of government intervention not because of it. A highlight of my legislative service has been working with small business job creators to write the referendum you see as Proposition 116, the Small Business Job Creation Act. It's a straight-forward proposal designed to get government out of the way by rolling back the unwise policy Arizona adopted a century ago that punishes private sector investment in the equipment and machinery essential to creating jobs. This tax is something small businesses incur the moment they acquire new equipment and machinery and before they hire one worker or make any product to sell. Proposition 116 will create thousands of new jobs in Arizona by removing one of the heaviest drags on our small businesses. It does so without creating a new bureaucracy or foolishly spending the taxpayers' money. The new investment spurred by passage of Proposition 116 will be 100% financed by the private sector--precisely where it ought to be financed from. It's a testament to the public policy soundness of Proposition 116 that it was unanimously adopted by our lawmakers who all too often cannot agree on much of anything substantial. I urge you to join me, our small business job creators and leaders from across the political spectrum to vote "yes" on Proposition 116."
Submitted by Andy Biggs, State Senator, Majority Leader, Arizona State Senate.
  • "Statement: The Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce supports the increase of the personal property tax exemption and believes it will encourage businesses to grow and expand. Business owners are slowly recovering from the economic downturn. This is a necessary initiative to stimulate reinvestment in their business machinery for growth."
Submitted by Lea Marquez Peterson, President & CEO, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Tannya Gaxiola, Chairwoman, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerc.


According to reports, no opposing arguments were submitted to the Arizona Secretary of State's office.[5]

Campaign contributions


The following are contributions made in support of the measure:[6]

Total campaign cash Campaign Finance Ballotpedia.png
Category:Ballot measure endorsements Support: $57,473.89
Circle thumbs down.png Opposition: $0
Donor Amount
Vote Yes on 116 $57,473.89


No campaign contributions were made in opposition of the measure, according to state election websites.[7]

Media endorsements

See also: Endorsements of Arizona ballot measures, 2012


  • The Yuma Sun stated, "Prop 116 will alter how equipment used by businesses in Arizona is taxed. Currently any equipment owned by a company is factored into property taxes for them, in addition to their land and buildings. Currently, about $68,000 worth of that equipment value is exempted from taxes, but this proposition would increase that exemption to as much as $2.4 million. There are good reasons to do this.[8]
  • The Arizona Republic stated, "In recent years, the Legislature has dramatically improved the tool kit for economic-development agencies working to entice businesses to open shop in Arizona and to encourage existing businesses to expand. Proposition 116 enlarges that tool kit and is worthy of voter support."[9]

Path to the ballot

A majority vote is required in the Arizona State Legislature to send a constitutional amendment to the ballot. Arizona is one of ten states that allow a referred amendment to go on the ballot after a majority vote in one session of the state's legislature.

See also

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External links