Last-minute state economic package may target downtown Phoenix

[Source: Mike Sunnucks, Phoenix Business Journal, June 13, 2008] — State lawmakers and business advocates are putting together a tax and economic package that offers tax credits to solar energy companies, expands tax breaks to companies that do research and development work in Arizona, and allows for Tucson-area officials to tax restaurants and tourists to fund spring training baseball stadiums.  The package (which is still being formulated) could also offer some incentives or tax assistance to the Arizona Diamondbacks and allocate funds, possibly Arizona Lottery revenue, to repair and upgrade research buildings at ASU and other state universities.

The package does not include a $250 million property tax repeal advocated by a number of real estate advocates and chambers of commerce.  State lawmakers, business group leaders, and lobbyists are slated to meet on a possible tax package Monday, June 16 at the State Capitol.  It could be part of final budget deals being hammered out at the Legislature as the state wrestles with an expected $2 billion deficit.  That budget needs to be complete by the end of June…

Downtown Phoenix possibilities:

  • Sources familiar with the package being put together said the plan could also include some help for the Arizona Diamondbacks but were unclear of the specifics.  That assistance could entail tax changes that help the Diamondbacks or facilitating downtown Phoenix development around Chase Field…
  • How the package might relate to a program backed by ASU President Michael Crow, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, and Gov. Janet Napolitano is still being determined.  The trio support a $1.4 billion bond package that would repair and upgrade existing state university research buildings and further develop a University of Arizona medical school and biomedical campus in downtown Phoenix.  One possible avenue is to use state lottery revenue to fund repairs and upgrades, especially at ASU.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

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