After a quarter of a century, Arizona still trying to get a handle on private land issues [VIDEO]

By Phil Riske | Senior Reporter/Writer

“This land is your land, this land is my land . . .” ~ Woody Guthrie

(STATE CAPITOL)— The Study Committee on Private Land Acquisition Wednesday recommended to the full Legislature extension of the study for another two years and “full disclosure” of conservation easements, property owners and appraisals on private lands.

Committee chair Senator Gail Griffin (R-14), a real estate agent, said not having a clear picture of private land ownership is a problem for cities and counties.

“I see less and less private land under private ownership,” Griffin said. “Cities and counties really don’t know what their tax base is.”

A 1997 study showed only 13 percent of Arizona land was privately owned.

Griffin said values of privately owned lands are as much as 55 percent undervalued because of tax exemptions and easements

Rep. Brenda Barton (R-6) said limited private land ownership is a drag on the economy.

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