A large crowd turned out for the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, where the discussion focused on extending a special tax zone for Monsanto.

Ron Medvescek / Arizona Daily Star/

Pima County will hold five community meetings to take public comments on the proposed Monsanto greenhouse facility ahead of a formal vote on the county’s support of a trade-zone designation that would result in a tax break for the company

Monsanto owns a 155-acre unused agricultural site in an unincorporated area near Twin Peaks and Sanders roads and plans to invest nearly $100 million in a 7-acre greenhouse facility where it would develop and grow corn seed.

The company has asked for the Board of Supervisors’ support to be included in a regional federally approved foreign trade zone that would give the company several economic benefits under federal and state laws, including reduced property tax assessment ratios, in this case from the property’s current 15 percent ratio to 5 percent.

The county said even with the lower tax assessments, Monsanto’s developed land would generate higher property taxes for affected taxing districts than if the property were left undeveloped. The underdeveloped property generated $1,956 in total property taxes in 2015. If the property is developed, various taxing districts would receive a total of $694,416 in property taxes at the fifth year of the 10-year designation, according to Pima County.

The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on the Monsanto proposal at its meeting Feb. 21.

The schedule of meetings:

  • District 1: 5 p.m., Jan. 9, Oro Valley Public Library, 1305 W. Naranja Drive.
  • District 2: 6 p.m., Jan. 19; Quincie Douglas Center, 1575 E. 36th St.
  • District 3: 5 p.m., Jan. 17; Ellie Towne Community Center, 1660 W. Ruthrauff Road.
  • District 4: 11 a.m., Jan. 13; Green Valley Recreation Center, Las Companas Room, 565 W. Belltower Drive.
  • District 5: 6 p.m., Jan. 18; Pima County Housing Center, 801 W. Congress St.

The county has set up a website about the Monsanto proposal at tucne.ws/h1b

Contact reporter Joe Ferguson at jferguson@tucson.com or 573-4197. On Twitter: @JoeFerguson