Notes from the Capitol: 7 April 2018

Notes from the Capitol: 7 April 2018

HB-2456, commonly known s the Rio Nuevo District Extension was signed by Governor Ducey.

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Representative Mark Finchem (R-11) today praised Governor Ducey for signing the Rio Nuevo extension into law.

HB 2456, which was sponsored by Representative Finchem, extends funding for the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District until its scheduled dissolution in 2035, prohibits future bonding, authorizes money paid to Rio Nuevo to be used for debt service on existing bonds and contractual obligations, requires proceeds from the sale of property to be used to cover unfunded pension liabilities, and escheats any unsold property to the State Land Trust for the benefit of K-12 education funding beneficiaries. The bill passed the Legislature with strong bipartisan support, garnering 38 votes in the House and 21 votes in the Senate.

“This extension of Rio Nuevo is a rescue mission for the City of Tucson, which some call ‘the Detroit of the Desert,’” said Representative Finchem. “It’s not good enough to stand by and watch the city decline into a state of urban blight. As evidenced by the actions of the City of Tucson from 1999-2009, a tax increment financing district like Rio Nuevo is a state government tool unsuited for municipal control.”

“Rio Nuevo is an island of stability in what some would consider a fiscally unstable environment. Attracting job creators and redeveloping otherwise blighted areas within the City of Tucson are already generating far more sales tax revenue than would have been generated had the state not stepped in.”

The companion bill to HB 2456, SB 1382, which contained a strike everything amendment, prohibits the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District from incurring any new debt through bonds or contractual obligations, passed from the House back to the Senate. This addition to law is important because it holds the line on Rio Nuevo expansion. While some may find fault with the approach, there is little doubt that redevelopment is critical to saving the second largest metropolitan environment in the state.

Tax Increment Financing Districts (TIF’s) are a State tool to redirect tax dollars in to qualifying projects that are designed to enhance the generation of Transaction PriveledgeTax (TPT), what most peole would call a sales tax. The most efficient generator of TIF tax dollars is the entertainment industry [bars, restauurants, and show] venues. Real leadership means working past politics, with the opposition and driving opportunity.

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