Hugh Hallman: Tempe proves tax incentives work – if done right

“Arizona cities have long used tax breaks to encourage business and real estate development. Many of these have been foolish.

But when used properly, they have given taxpayers more than their money’s worth. In Tempe, where I served as mayor and a council member for more than 12 years, many such arrangements have brought great results for taxpayers.

Tempe Marketplace is an example. Using incentives, Tempe encouraged a developer to clean up a Superfund site that could have cost taxpayers millions to remediate.

In downtown Tempe, the current city council is saving history and taxpayer dollars by getting developers to preserve the Hayden Flour Mill and Silos as well as the Hayden House, formerly known as Monti’s La Casa Vieja. Developers also have built public parking, as with the parking garage at city hall. In each case, the city’s costs were merely paid through a tax break instead of a check.

And then there’s Town Lake. To create development around it, Tempe has used a Government Property Lease Excise Tax (GPLET) abatement.”

Read the rest of Hugh’s editorial on AZCentral.