[Source: Max Jarman, Arizona Republic] — A legal battle over parking garages for upscale shopping center CityNorth could trigger major changes in how cities work with private developers and in the longtime practice of awarding sales-tax subsidies to them. A high court decision against a $97.4 million subsidy offered to CityNorth by Phoenix potentially could scuttle other deals, create liability for cities, and change the equation on developers’ decisions on whether to build high- profile projects.
Billions of dollars in sales-tax rebates have been handed out by Valley cities to car dealers, mall developers, and retailers. Projects such as Tempe Marketplace, Mesa Riverview, and the Nordstrom at Scottsdale Fashion Square were subsidized by such rebates. Several major new developments, including the Prasada master-planned community in Surprise, include sales-tax rebates as well… A ruling against the rebate could affect some high-profile projects in downtown Phoenix, such as CityScape, a mixed-use project that has $96 million in city subsidies, including $26 million in tax breaks. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]