/ Modified jan 13, 2017 4:42 p.m.

Monsanto Seeks Tax Break Amid Vocal Opposition in Pima County

Plus, how the governor's priorities align with technical education needs; checking in with Oro Valley.

Pima County residents who have spoken at public meetings about a proposed Monsanto company greenhouse in Marana are overwhelmingly against the project.

The agribusiness giant plans to open a 7-acre greenhouse on a 155-acre plot of farmland just outside Marana town limits, about a mile from Marana High School.

Pima County is considering whether to back the company's application as a Foreign Trade Zone with the federal government. If the company gets that status, Arizona law requires the company's property tax assessment drop to a lower rate.

The Pima County Board of Supervisors will vote Feb. 21 on whether to support the company's application. In exchange for support, the company would keep a county-scientific advisory board apprised of activities at the greenhouse.

More details on the project are in this episode of Metro Week:

  • Hear from residents opposed to the project, and a Marana farmer who supports the company. Then, we ask Monsanto‚Äôs lead scientist for the greenhouse project, Amanda McClerren, about some of those concerns.

  • Oro Valley Mayor Satish Hiremath gives an update on the town, including the political ramifications of purchasing El Conquistador Country Club and golf course, and the prospect of regional cooperation on local traffic ordinances.

  • Gov. Doug Ducey said in his State of the State Address that he wants to increase education funding. We ask how it will affect career and technical education. With Joel Todd, superintendent of the Cochise Technology District, and Alan Storm, superintendent of the Pima County Joint Technical Education District.

  • Businesses are also reacting to the State of the State, reporter Zac Ziegler shares some responses, as well as the big business stories expected in 2017.

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