Richard Tracy, Sr.: Long established governing polices that allowed civilization to advance are being challenged by conservative groups. In Arizona, led by the Goldwater Institute they succeeded in narrowing the definition of “public use,” creating the new dilemma regarding zoning powers that would shield Luke Air Force Base.
Long established governing polices that allowed civilization to advance are being challenged by conservative groups. In Arizona, led by the Goldwater Institute they succeeded in narrowing the definition of “public use,” creating the new dilemma regarding zoning powers that would shield Luke Air Force Base.
The institute has opened another front in their anti-government war. Recently, they have been attempting to broaden the constitutional restrictions pertaining to use of government action to advance private development.
Using the CityNorth decision, the institute has called into question the proposed incentives to encourage the proposed Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center to locate on the GM Proving grounds; Mesa’s Proposition 300 in the March 10 election.
To classify incentives as anything other than a community investment is wrong. When a governing body assists a private enterprise to develop or improve in some manner — by road location, a freeway exit, lighting or limited tax rebate, lease concession, or even free land — it is acting to benefit the community.
Usually, the developer creates its share and taxpayer funds are not at risk. Revenue can be expected from increased property taxes, construction wages, material and profit, as well as other commercial activities attracted to the area. That more than compensates for the incentives.
The Gaylord Resort and Convention Center is a rare opportunity in these days of economic downturn. It will assist making the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport area a successful economic center. I hope we avoid a repeat of the vacant land and shattered hopes of many who sacrificed hoping to improve Mesa.
Resistance to the Arizona Cardinals stadium in the most beneficial and central location drove it to Glendale. Riverview survived after a bitter election. It has proven to be a great benefit to the area and revenue producer for the city and county.
If the Arizona Supreme Court upholds the CityNorth decision on incentives, then without delay the Arizona Constitution should be amended to provide for practical, open negations for incentives or for providing infrastructure to encourage progress and orderly growth. It should be a legislative act, subject to review by voters, and even recall of the approving officials.
If the CityNorth prohibition stands, then funding for most use of incentives will be endangered. Contracts will be broken that were made in good faith, mainly several large joint projects in downtown Phoenix.
Vote “yes” on Proposition 300.
Those intent on preventing orderly growth forget we are in competition with other communities that have open space in other states as well as the Indian tribes. Most do not have Not In My Back Yard protesters or weird, collateral restrictions from zoning changes, a handicap adopted following the Bailey’s Brake Shop case. Rawhide and a 15-story hotel were located on Indian tribal lands with no zoning problem, no protesters, and no tax income for the nearby communities or the county.
Richard T. Tracy Sr. is a resident of Mesa.