Federal Tax Incentives May be on the Horizon

In announcing his tax incentive proposal President Obama said, “We’re at a unique moment, an inflection point…”. The President was referring to the apparent reversal of offshoring jobs. Obama cited the increase in labor costs in China as one of the reasons this onshoring trend has begun to catch on. But there are also payroll increases in India as well along with the increasing cost of “doing business” in both countries.

According to an article in the New York Times economists feel that a tax incentive will have little impact on any companies decision to bring jobs back to the US. It may be that companies simply over played their hands in a rush to cut costs via offshoring. However the article also said that tax incentives may help encourage a “fledgling” trend.

Let’s hope that congress can find its way to approving an onshoring tax incentive package. It’s time for America to see itself as more than the worlds largest consumer of goods.  It’s  critical that we are a leading producer of services and goods.

Even more important and critical to me, however, is the question of where will these jobs go…And why will they go there. Certainly Arizona could and should benefit from this trend, but (and granted this is the opinion of a novice) more than likely additional steps need to be taken for Arizona to be in the game.

During the Ework Summit the idea of creating jobs using work at home as a catalyst was broached. Some of us felt that by presenting companies with a less expensive more productive way of doing business we could attract jobs to Arizona and the Greater Phoenix Market.

Since that time we have introduced this idea to leadership at Maricopa County. The county along with my company, Cox Business and Thin Client Computing have agreed to launch a task force to study the idea and discuss how to best create a strategy. Along with Maricopa county we’ve received support from IBM, APS, Acquinity, and Metro Valley. We’re hoping that the task force meeting will take place in February.

The Phoenix area was recently rated as the third best market for telecommuting in a study conducted by Microsoft. The study stated that we have the right kind of technology and network available, the support of business leadership and a high desire of the employees to work at home. But we lack some of the business incentives of other markets.

Help us out. Let’s help Arizona move the unemployment needle south. If you were a company looking at transporting jobs into Arizona and would be willing to look at work at home as a partial solution, what would you need from the market to solidify the move? What incentives, environment and support would you be looking for? We’re looking forward to your feedback.

Thanks for taking the time to read this article and as alway, I’m looking forward to your feedback.

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