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Goldwater Institute v. City of Phoenix (public records in Wyndham Hotel case)

November 11, 2014

In late 2009, several media stories announced that the City of Phoenix was offering a sizable tax break to the Wyndham Hotel through a sales-lease back arrangement. The news reports claimed the Wyndham would use the tax incentive to complete $10 million in remodeling and renovations.

The Goldwater Institute, concerned illegal tax breaks could be given to the hotel at taxpayer expense, made a public records request to the City, asking to see the development agreement and any other related documents. The City refused, saying no agreement had been reached and that no records will be made public until a development agreement is executed.

Without access to the records and transparency in government in general, Phoenix taxpayers will not know what tax breaks might be offered, and won’t be able to raise objections to them, until it is too late and a contract has been signed.

After a court hearing, the City of Phoenix decided to make all the records available to the Goldwater Institute. The Goldwater Institute has also asked that its public records request for all documents related to the Wyndham Hotel deal be ongoing.

Case Documents:

Complaint (2/5/2010)Ruling (2/17/2010)Fee Ruling (8/13/2010)



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