April 8, 2005
Tempe on Thursday joined Phoenix in outlawing tax incentives along their border with Chandler.
The Tempe City Council unanimously approved the deal to stop using tax incentives to lure retail businesses.
Phoenix passed the resolution Wednesday.
Chandler must now adopt the plan before a tri-city pact takes effect.
"These incentives have to start being dealt with in a different way," said Councilman Ben Arredondo.
"We can do business better for our cities, better than anyone at the state Capitol."
Chandler leaders said they are hopeful the proposal will be before the council next week.
Thursday, the Chandler Economic Development Advisory Board recommended the City Council approve the plan.
The plan would create an incentive-free zone covering a 25-square-mile area along Interstate 10, which includes all of Ahwatukee Foothills and two miles into south Tempe and west Chandler.
Exceptions to the ban would include incentives to improve public infrastructure, environmental cleanup, historic preservation and landscaping and building facade improvements.
Critics say the plan will do little to keep communities from paying millions of dollars to bring in more retail business.
Most municipalities in the Valley depend on sales tax to sustain their operating budgets.
"This is about curbing competition between cities. It’s not about trashing incentives," said Chandler Mayor Boyd Dunn.
Meanwhile, Sen. Ken Cheuvront, D-Phoenix, and Sen. Jay Tibshraeny, R-Chandler, are proposing separate legislation to stop cities from using tax incentives.