A Pima County, Arizona, official has sharply criticized his county’s ongoing discussions about giving Monsanto Co. tax breaks for a local greenhouse project.
In August, Monsanto announced an investment plan to build greenhouses in Arizona for research related to corn and soybean breeding. According to the Arizona Daily Star, at least one of those greenhouses is planned for 7-acre site in Pima County. It would reportedly create as many as 60 jobs.
As part of its investment in the area, Monsanto is negotiating a possible incentives package to lessen the amount of property taxes it would have to pay.
Richard Elías serves on the Pima County Board of Supervisors, a five-member board responsible for steering public policy and approving the county budget. Elías represents Pima County’s District 5, which is among the county’s most urban districts.
On Tuesday, Elías said in the Arizona Daily Star that “Monsanto certainly is not a company that deserves special benefits at the expense of local taxpayers.”
“We want health economic development in Pima County,” he said. “But if we are to entice companies here with tax or other benefits, we want business and industry that will operate in an above-board manner and will not contaminate our soil, water or air.”