Fees levied by special business districts on Arizona state university land could be used to support bonds for athletic facilities under a bill introduced by Rep. Warde Nichols, R-Gilbert.

The measure, HB 5023, would allow county supervisors in Coconino, Maricopa, and Pima counties to establish special business districts within the boundaries of the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, and Northern Arizona University.

A university would set fees for new retail businesses located in the special district, which would be exempt from local property taxes. The fee could not exceed the property tax.

The university could issue bonds for stadium and other athletic facilities supported by the fee revenue. In an analysis of a similar bill in 2009, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee estimated that ASU could generate $136,500 a year through a special business district, with UA generating about $94,600 a year.

ASU officials said the school’s Sun Devil Stadium needs some $170 million in upgrades and improvements to remain functional. UA has a $400 million program for new athletic facilities, but current plans call for no state funds.

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