Thursday, January 29, 2009

Prop 300: Bed Taxes and Gaylord

The Republic's Gary Nelson delves deeply into the Gaylord deal today showing how the bed taxes are at the heart of the vote. Its a great read that goes through the ins and outs of the deal, and spells out how the money gets generated and where it gets spent.

In the end, it basically comes down to this: Mesa collects bed taxes from tourists. Those bed taxes are used to promote tourism. Gaylord is going to generate a lot of bed taxes as a big time attraction. Mesa is going to let them use some of the bed taxes to promote the Gateway Area, and some to promote the hotel and convention center. The money appears to be used in the same way as it always has. The difference is who is doing the promotion.

Quite frankly, in some ways, I really think its better for Gaylord to do the promotion. They want the area to succeed to help their business. Don't you think they are going to spend their money as efficiently as possible? I think Mesa has come a long way in the past few months, but perception management is still something they need a little work on.

Of course, a couple of grumpy folks assume that this thing would be built with or without incentives. I am of the belief that they wouldn't especially in this current climate. In Mesa, its still frustrating that we have to sit through an election before we are able to build anything, but at least projects are opting for Mesa over some of our neighbors.

1 comment:

Larry said...

Thanks for the link to the article. After reading through the Publicity Pamphlet put out by the city of Mesa and reading the actual text of what I'd be agreeing to by voting yes on 300, I do have a question about the project.

Why is Gaylord going to give the property to mesa for free and then lease the property from Mesa for $5,000 a year with the option to buy the property back for $5,000 at anytime they want? (See sections 7B and 11) The only reason I can think that they would want to do this is to get out of property taxes. I realize that Mesa now has a small property tax, but from what I understand it's tiny compared to the county tax. Thus, if my logic is correct Gaylord is transferring the land to Mesa to get out of paying county property taxes.

Is this normal? I mean should I expect large developments like hotels and such to get out of paying property taxes by transferring the land to a government entity (like the city). Since property are based on the assessed value, I'm guessing that Gaylord would have to pay a pretty penny in property taxes if they were to actually own the land.

Are they pulling a fast one on use, or am I missing something?