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48 Guidebook for Developing and Leasing Airport Property tax abatements to avoid the airport sponsor risking violation of grant assurances with which the airport sponsor must comply. An abundance of enthusiasm from the stakeholder community can be good, but, in some instances, it can also detract from the goals of the airport sponsor. When involvement from any stakeholder reflects special interest agendas rather than the interest of the airport, the outcome can result in long-term damage. Specifically, undervaluation or inappropriate application of incentives for the sake of economic development or other special interests can set off a chain reaction of lost revenue for decades to come, or worse, loss of capital improvement funding because of a failure to comply with federal grant assurances. Sociopolitical relationships, both favorable and unfavorable, between the airport and the elected officials that govern the airport, will affect the airport sponsor's ability to pursue oppor- tunities and negotiate the complex agreements and structures that might be required to develop large or complex airport development projects. If the sociopolitical relationship has either not been developed or is simply a poor one, the airport may find the approval process to achieve a specialized airport development to be a cumbersome and lengthy endeavor. If the airport is in a competitive site-selection process, the development prospect may ultimately gravitate toward an airport with a superior socioeconomic relationship within the community. 3.6.4 Incentives and Assurances Airport development, specifically development of facilities and improvements built on leased portions of a publicly-owned airport, can vary considerably from traditional development of prop- erty on land that is owned fee simple. Federal grant assurances generally restrict the airport owner or sponsor from selling land to the developer, especially property adjacent to aeronautical facilities such as runways and taxiways. The airport developer is, therefore, generally left with the develop- ment of improvements on leased airport-owned land. This arrangement is generally accomplished under a long-term lease of adequate time for the developer to amortize its investment. A core principle of complying with the federal grant assurances is that the sponsor must pro- vide nonexclusive use of the airport and equitable treatment of tenants and users. There are many ways to attract airport development: incentives, abatements, and grants, for example. However, the airport sponsor must maintain a level playing field for like-users of its facilities. Incentives used to attract one airport development should also be offered to other airport developments with the same attributes. For this reason, the airport sponsor may elect to distance itself from the sometimes subjective job of allocating incentives, abatements, and grants, and leave that role to other community stakeholders who are better positioned to provide these important tools.