July 11, 2023
Contact: Michael Kittilson

PHOENIX – If Arizona took the policy path of its neighboring state Colorado, our economy would see a $9.5 billion hit and the loss of 113,500 jobs, according to a new joint report from the Common Sense Institute (CSI) Arizona and the Arizona Chamber Foundation.

This report offers a unique analysis on the Arizona economy by highlighting 67 failed bills from the 2023 legislative session in Arizona — 13 of which have actually passed in the state of Colorado. In addition to the job losses and economic impact, the report finds that these bills would have imposed over $25 billion in annual new costs on Arizona’s businesses, including $15 billion in new taxes and fees.

For example, 10 tax increase bills proposed in the Arizona Legislature, which ultimately failed, would have increased taxes by a total of $15 billion dollars. And another piece of legislation repealing right-to-work would have cost Arizona $18.6 billion.

Through the comparative study of Arizona and Colorado, CSI highlights the changing dynamics in job growth and economic performance. If Arizona had followed Colorado’s trend since 2019, and especially since the COVID pandemic, CSI found that Arizona would have 113,500 fewer workers today and an economy that’s 2.6% smaller, equating to $9.5 billion in lost GDP.

“This study shows that policy matters when it comes to jobs and economic impacts,” said Executive Director of CSI Arizona, Katie Ratlief. “Policymakers and the public should be informed about the short and long term impacts these pieces of legislation have so they can weigh pros and cons and make informed decisions.”

While these 67 bills have not been enacted in the past, the study stresses that legislative climates can change rapidly, as evidenced by Colorado’s shift over the past five years.

“At the Arizona Chamber, we are committed to protecting the job gains we have seen in Arizona in recent years,” said Danny Seiden, President and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a CSI Board Member. “This analysis provides important data points for legislators to consider as these failed bills will likely resurface in future sessions.”

Other key findings:

  • Failed legislation would have resulted in a $25 billion increase to the cost of doing business
  • Had Arizona followed Colorado’s employment and migration trends since 2019, it would have 113,500 fewer workers today and an economy 2.6% smaller


Read the full report here.