Redefining Blight in Arizona’s Government Property Lease Excise Tax (GPLET) Abatement

50 Ariz. St. L.J. 791 (2018). Christopher Koester.

The GPLET—controversial in both pronunciation and practice—has played a major role in financing some of Arizona’s most prominent commercial developments, including Phoenix’s CityScape and Renaissance Square and the Hayden Ferry Lakeside office complex in Tempe. The Arizona Legislature enacted the GPLET, officially the Government Property Lease Excise Tax, primarily as an economic development tool. The GPLET incentivizes development by reducing developers’ tax burdens by removing incentivized projects from the property tax rolls. Instead, developers pay an excise tax to the local government based on the type of project, and eligible projects in central business districts can be completely exempt from the excise tax for eight years. This period of exemption is called an “abatement.”

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