Tempe's Election Day is here for the Coyotes arena deal
It's Election Day in Tempe, where voters will decide the fate of a proposed $2.1 billion development near Tempe Town Lake featuring a new Arizona Coyotes arena as its centerpiece.
- The proposed development would include an arena, about 2,000 apartments and an entertainment district on a vacant 46-acre site that currently includes a landfill.
- Early voting began last month on the three ballot measures that must pass for the proposal to become a reality.
State of play: Axios Phoenix is breaking down the biggest issues in the election:
🤑 Tax break
The Tempe Entertainment District would be privately funded, but the city would provide a 30-year property tax break through Government Property Lease Excise Tax.
- By swapping property taxes with excise taxes, the team is expected to save about $500 million in city, county and state taxes, the Arizona Republic reported.
- The city would also create a special district called a Community Facilities District, allowing it to repay about $208 million in bonds taken out for land remediation and infrastructure with tax revenue generated by the district.
- Dueling economic studies make different predictions, with one claiming the city will get $167 million in tax revenue over the course of the deal and another saying Tempe will see a net loss of $7 million.
The district would be under the flight path for aircraft flying in and out of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
- The airport opposes the plan, arguing it violates a 1994 agreement between Phoenix and Tempe over how close housing can be, and it worries noise levels could generate opposition to Sky Harbor.
- The team and the city counter the apartments would be soundproofed to block excessive noise.
- Phoenix sued over the alleged violation of the 1994 agreement, while the development company owned by the Coyotes owner filed notice it intends to sue over what it described as Phoenix's attempts to sabotage the proposal.
🏗 The land
The site at Priest Drive and Rio Salado Parkway represents the "last bulk" of city-owned land available for development.
- Some ponder whether this is the best project for this site, and there are questions about the land's condition and value.
- The land has sat vacant for years without any serious development offers.
The deadline for mailing early ballots, which will likely be the majority of the votes cast, has passed, but you can still vote in person or drop off your early ballot at the Tempe History Museum, 809 E. Southern Ave.
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