GPLET Reform Bill Passes House By Wide Margin

The House of Representatives voted 50-9 to pass HB 2213, a bill that closes several loopholes related to the Government Property Lease Excise Tax (GPLET), reducing the length of GPLETs from 25 years to 8 years.

GPLET is levied in lieu of property taxes when governments lease publicly-owned property to private businesses.

When local governments award property tax incentives like GPLET to developers, it deprives school districts of tax revenue. State taxpayers are forced to make up the difference through elevated payments to those school districts.

“I applaud my colleagues for voting for this historic bipartisan piece of legislation that will close loopholes and provide funding much faster to where it is desperately needed, K-12 education,” said the bill’s sponsor Rep. Vince Leach. “This legislation ensures that schools receive their fair share of funding sooner than the existing law, making it a win for education.”

“The marketplace is where winners and losers should be determined and the passage of this bill reflects the importance Arizonans place on this principle,” said Leach.

Rep. Pam Powers Hannley spoke in favor of the bill. She stated that she appreciated Leach’s efforts to reform the GPLET and protect taxpayers. She pointed out that the bill doesn’t eliminate the GPLET as an economic development tool – it makes the deals less generous. The freshman lawmaker said that she was glad to hear that the tax abatement period has been cut back from 25 years to 8 years due to the fact that it will help schools and the taxpayers.

Powers Hannley called on lawmakers to look at all tax giveaway policies — not just what the cities are doing. She argued that giving taxpayer money away to big corporations or sports teams in exchange for a promise of jobs and prosperity in the future is not sustainable economic development. She noted that multinational corporations don’t need taxpayer money.

“Big businesses have told us to fix the education system and fix the roads,” stated Powers Hannley. “That’s what they’re interested in – not more tax cuts.”