Arizona’s three state university presidents presented a united front Friday after a surprise lawsuit from the state attorney general went after Arizona State University’s real-estate projects. Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed suit in Arizona Tax Court Thursday over the university’s use of tax-exempt land for private development. Land owned by the universities is exempt from property taxes under Arizona law. At a Greater Phoenix Chamber event Friday morning, the presidents of the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University made clear they stood with ASU. ASU President Michael Crow, who also spoke at the event, questioned how the attorney general’s office could sue a state body when the office also represents them in other matters. “I’ve never been in a situation where my own lawyer would sue me. To be frank, I’m not really sure what that is about,” Crow said. Brnovich technically sued the Arizona Board of Regents, which oversees ASU. This is a “strange moment in time,” Crow told the crowd. But one legal expert says it’s not unheard of for state attorneys general to sue other state agencies. NAU President Rita Cheng noted that her university has used the same method as ASU to bring a Drury Inn to campus. The on-campus… Read full this story
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