Real-Estate Groups Speak Out Against Bill Targeting Property Lease Taxes

Published: Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 2:39pm
Updated: Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 2:50pm

Many Arizona mayors and real-estate groups are speaking out against a bill in the state Legislature that they say would take away their only economic tool they have to attract large-scale development and business investment.

House Bill 2213 goes after Government Property Lease Excise Taxes, or GPLETs. This is when the city owns a piece of land, and they lease it to a developer, which gives them a lower property tax rate than if they owned the land outright. It’s how cities have gotten many major developments built.

But conservatives call them corporate welfare.

The sponsor of this bill, state Rep. Vince Leach, says they’re being used in the wrong places. They’re supposed to be used to combat slums and blight, but, he says, instead, cities have used it in some of the most expensive districts, which has created massive tax disparities among neighbors.

So what’s behind this, and what it might mean if it passes? I talked with Mike Sunnucks of the Phoenix Business Journal who’s been covering this bill asked him what the cities are arguing here.

The bill has passed through the House of Representatives, and now, it goes to the Senate for a vote. 

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