Photo via Huntington University website
By Philip Haldiman | Your Valley
The Arizona Supreme Court ruled in favor of an appeal claiming that the city of Peoria illegally entered into an agreement to give up to $2.6 million in taxpayer money to Huntington University in exchange for opening a school in the P83 Entertainment District.
Previously, the city prevailed at the trial court and in the court of appeals, but the Supreme Court reversed a Maricopa County judge’s ruling in favor of Peoria.
In its ruling, the Supreme Court said, “In effect, Huntington University and [its landlord’s] promises are no different than a hamburger chain promising to operate in Peoria in exchange for monetary incentives paid by the city in hope of stimulating the local economy.”
“This ruling from the Arizona Supreme Court reminds us how strong the Arizona Constitutional gift clause is – prohibiting cities from providing non-public incentives to entice economic development. Note to the development community – if you are working on a subsidy type agreement with a city, you better read this one!”
Jordan Rose, Rose Law Group founder and president