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Tucson spring-training tax is dead — for now

A proposed tax hike for spring-training facilities in Pima County is dead in the Arizona Legislature — for now.

A proposal to allow Pima County residents to approve a sales-tax hike for spring-training facilities there is dead in the Arizona Legislature — for  now.

The proposal would increase hotel, restaurant, retail and amusement sales taxes to pay for new facilities. While it's pretty much a done deal that the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks are out of Tucson by 2011, Tucson officials say they're laying the groundwork for 2015, when teams currently in the Grapefruit League have leases expiring.

We're not going to get into the political details of why the legislation is dead — let's just say it has more to do with turf battles within the Arizona House than anything else — but even if it passed a tax hike for spring in Tucson would be a tough sell, as residents are notorious for opposing tax hikes for sports facilities. And once the Rockies and Diamondbacks leave for Phoenix, bringing spring training back to Tucson will be an extraordinarily hard sell for MLB teams.

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