Arizona senators are considering a bill that would establish a sports development district in Pima County with the authority to issue tax-exempt bonds for baseball spring training facilities.
HB 2572, which has been approved by the House, would allow voters to increase tourism and entertainment taxes in Pima County by a total of 1.75%.
Expected revenues of $38 million a year could be used to support bonds for Major League Baseball and youth baseball stadiums and fields.
The bill authorizes county supervisors to create a taxing district in Pima County. District directors would be required to call an election to increase taxes within the first five years.
The district’s structure is based on the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority, which has issued bonds supported by hospitality-related taxes in Maricopa County to build a football stadium for the Arizona Cardinals as well as spring training complexes for several Major League Baseball teams.
The Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies currently train in Pima County. The Chicago White Sox left their complex in Tucson earlier this year to move into a new stadium in Glendale, financed in part by the Sports and Tourism Authority.
The bill stipulates that 10% of the annual revenues must be allocated to amateur baseball facilities.