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Senate approves tax break for Grand Canyon University

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The Arizona Senate has approved a bill granting a big property tax break for a growing private Christian university in west Phoenix.

Monday’s 16-14 vote on Senate Bill 1402 cuts Grand Canyon University’s property taxes. Republican Sen. Steve Yarbrough’s legislation applies to any regionally or nationally accredited private university in Arizona but Grand Canyon benefits most.

A 2014 effort benefiting the university’s west Phoenix campus failed because of concerns it benefited only one university and was unconstitutional. Expanding it to other colleges fixes that problem.

Yarbrough says it’s good policy to offer the expanding university a tax break.

Democratic Sen. Robert Meza of Phoenix says neighboring property owners will pay higher tax bills if the bill passes.

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