[Source: Mike Sunnucks, Phoenix Business Journal] — The state could sell off the Arizona State Fairgrounds and other assets and take on more debt instead of raising taxes to help solve a $3 billion budget deficit. Arizona Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, said Thursday the Arizona House of Representatives was working on an alternative to the budget plan proposed by Gov. Jan Brewer in an effort to shore up the deficit. Brewer wants a statewide referendum asking voters to raise sales taxes by 1 cent. Arizona currently has 5.6 percent state sales tax.
Kavanagh said the House budget plan would not have tax increases but instead could raise state debt limits and would look to sell off some assets. That could include the state fairgrounds at Grand and 19th avenues and McDowell Road in west Phoenix. He said the city of Phoenix has some land along Buckeye Road that could accommodate a new fairgrounds. The state also could sell off an airport near the Grand Canyon and privatize more state prisons and corrections facilities. The state needs to raise more revenue in order to avoid drastic cuts to a slew of programs and services, including universities and K-12 schools. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]