Car Rental Tax Can’t Fund Stadium, Says Judge

Photo via Wikimedia.
Photo via Wikimedia.

A judge of Arizona’s Maricopa County Superior Court has ruled that a car rental tax can’t help pay off the Cardinals Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., according to a report by Arizona Capitol Times.

Judge Dean Fink said the rental car tax goes against a state constitutional provision. Taxes imposed on the use of vehicles — on public streets — are restricted to funding road construction, maintenance and related purposes, according to the report.

Fink agreed with attorney Shawn Aiken, a representative of several car rental companies, that construction of a stadium isn’t within that restriction, says the report.

The Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority’s $42.1M operating budget includes more than $12.2 million from the car rental tax, says the report. Timothy Berg, an attorney representing the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority, said that the issue is a tax on the renting of cars, not a tax on their use on state roads.

Similar to the “bed tax” on hotel rooms, the car rental tax is also a result of Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill wanting to build a new stadium for the football team, according to the report. Bidwill threatened to move the team if taxpayers didn’t provide funding for a stadium.

Expected to run through March 2031, the tax’s funds also pay for tourism advertisement and spring training facilities, says the report.

Berg said an appeal is likely, according to the report.

Click here to read the full Arizona Capitol Times report: http://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2014/06/18/az-cardinals-nfl-stadium-tax-ruling-leaves-state-on-the-hook-for-150m/

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