House panel axes Grand Canyon University tax break

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By Matthew Seeman By Matthew Seeman

PHOENIX (AP) -- An Arizona House panel has axed a proposed property tax break for a Phoenix-based private Christian university after lawyers for the Legislature said it was potentially unconstitutional.

Grand Canyon University is seeking to have its property reclassified into a much lower rate that would save it about $750,000 a year on its current Phoenix campus. Any new construction at the school or at a planned Mesa campus also would be reclassified, meaning the tax break could expand greatly over time.

But the House Rules Committee voted 5-3 Wednesday to shelve the proposal because of concerns it ran afoul of constitutional requirements for uniform taxation.

Senate Bill 1303 was drafted to only benefit Grand Canyon and drew objections from the University of Phoenix.

The bill may be revived later.

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