Arizona Senator Blocking Bill That Would Save 350 Utah Jobs

Arizona Senator Blocking Bill That Would Save 350 Utah Jobs

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(Washington-AP) -- An Arizona senator is blocking efforts to close a tax loophole that a major archery company says could force it to close its operations in Utah and send jobs overseas.

Easton Outdoors employs about 350 people in its Salt Lake City arrow operation, assembling arrow components.

Easton's complaint is that the federal government levies a 12-point-four percent tax on the components it imports to Utah for assembly, while arrows assembled outside the United States and imported to the country are not taxed due to a loophole in the 1997 law.

Since the law passed, about one-third of the 45 (M)million dollar arrow market has moved production overseas.

Faced with a threat of Easton closing its doors and moving jobs to Canada or Mexico, members of Congress from Utah and Wisconsin pushed legislation to tax both assembled arrows as well as components.

The House bill, sponsored by Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Jim Matheson of Utah unanimously passed the House, but has been blocked in the Senate by Arizona Republican Senator Jon Kyl.

Kyl's state is home to Precision Shooting Equipment Incorporated, which already has moved its assembly operations to China and now enjoys the benefit of not paying taxes on its imported arrows.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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