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PHX Must Start Over on Roosevelt Row District

A sign at Fourth and Roosevelt streets shows people what attractions are located on Roosevelt Row. Credit: Jeffrey Lowman/The Arizona Republic

By Brenna Goth for The Arizona Republic

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge has rejected Phoenix’s attempt to sidestep an Arizona law that negates efforts to turn Roosevelt Row into a branded district.

The ruling follows controversy over a proposal to area tax property owners. The money would pay for extra services like beautification and marketing.

Judge Daniel Kiley sided with the state in a lawsuit filed by the city that sought to determine whether a new law changing how business-improvement districts are formed statewide applied to Roosevelt Row.

Phoenix Spokeswoman Julie Watters said in an email the city is disappointed by the ruling and is evaluating next steps.

Law Targets Roosevelt Row, Isn’t Special Legislation

Some landowners concerned about the changing face of Roosevelt Row led the effort to make it an established district, paid for by a new property tax within its boundaries. Those opposed argued the process was unfair and successfully sought help from the state legislature.

The resulting law requires cities to prove support for districts, instead of a lack of opposition. That change applies to the Roosevelt district, Kiley ruled.

The court also rejected Phoenix’s argument that the law is special legislation that unconstitutionally targets Roosevelt Row. Kiley said the law will first be applied to the Roosevelt district, but that it’s not a unique burden.

Read more at The Arizona Republic.

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