Tempe Considers Tax Incentive For Bank Of The West

Published: Wednesday, October 25, 2017 - 11:02am

Bank of the West is promising to bring hundreds of high-paying jobs to a Tempe office building once occupied by the University of Phoenix.  

In exchange, the city is offering the financial firm a government property lease excise tax. Called a GPLET for short, it swaps the property tax for a reduced rate.

“The intangible benefits of having a company like Bank of the West and other financial services companies and what they do to support the local business community is something that is very difficult to measure, but is important to sustain and grow a strong business community,” said Scott Powell, Tempe economic development program manager.

Powell said the city considered the economic benefits and cites a Rounds Consulting Group study that found the office would have a $6.2 million positive impact over the course of the lease.

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As part of the agreement, Bank of the West will invest $25 million into the office and pay the Tempe Union Educational Foundation $50,000.

Bank of the West promises to have 500 employees in the office by June 2018 and 1,000 by 2021. If the bank doesn’t, it would owe the city $3,500 per undelivered job.

“We can always terminate the lease and put it back on the rolls,” Powell said.

The Tempe City Council will host the first of two public hearings about the offer during its Thursday meeting.

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