Arizona AG Brnovich: ASU Can't Rent Tax Status To Benefit Private Developers

Published: Friday, January 11, 2019 - 2:34pm
Updated: Friday, January 11, 2019 - 2:35pm
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Arizona Attorney General's Office
Mark Brnovich.

Arizona’s Attorney General Mark Brnovich has filed a second lawsuit in his ongoing battle with the state’s public universities.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Arizona Tax Court against the Arizona Board of Regents which oversees the state’s universities, and it’s over ASU real estate deals he says are illegal.

Here’s how it works: ASU rents out its land to private companies to develop on it. Those companies then pay ASU rent, and they don’t have to pay property taxes because the university is the landowner.

Brnovich said that’s denying the state millions in property tax income — and he’s specifically aiming to stop one such deal with the Omni Hotel that’s set to be built on Mill Avenue and University Drive.

ASU says that Attorney General Brnovich is in violation of the rules of professional conduct of the state of Arizona and that the deal with the Omni Hotel will not divert any money from the K-12 system.

The Show will have more on ASU’s response on Monday.

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