Suit vs. Maricopa Stadium Tax Tossed

People who rent cars or hotel rooms in Maricopa County have no legal right to challenge a special tax they pay to finance the new Arizona Cardinals stadium, the state Court of Appeals recently ruled, the Arizona Daily Star reports.

The court said Arizona lawmakers crafted this levy — like others already on the books — not as a "sales tax" but instead as a "transaction privilege tax." And that, technically, is a tax paid by the businesses.

And what that means, they concluded, is that only the businesses affected have legal standing to challenge the legality of the levy, something they have not done.

The ruling, unless overturned, preserves the ability of the Stadium and Tourism Authority to continue collecting the taxes through March 2031. That pays not only for $274 million of the stadium but also provides cash for tourism promotion, spring training facilities in Maricopa County as well as youth and amateur sports leagues.

At issue is a 3.5 percent tax on car rentals and 1 percent on hotel rooms.

According to the Arizona Daily Star, the lawsuit is based on the contention that the taxes are an illegal restraint of interstate commerce because they were designed largely to affect tourists, the ones most likely to rent cars and use hotel rooms.

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