- Associated Press - Thursday, December 14, 2017

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - A new court decision says Pima County didn’t need to use competitive bidding to lease county-owned land to a balloon spaceflight company for a headquarters and operations base as part of an economic development package.

The Court of Appeals decision Thursday overturns a Superior Court judge’s ruling that the 2016 deal between Pima County and World View Enterprise violated state law that required competitive bidding to protect public resources.

The Court of Appeals says an economic development law allows counties to lease county-owned land at less than market value.

The Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute sued on behalf of several taxpayers, saying the deal put taxpayers at risk if World View leaves without fully paying for the space.

The county has said the deal would create jobs and boost the local economy.

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