North Central News

Property taxes set to rise again

Phoenicians have two things to not look forward to in July 1: the rising heat, and rising property taxes.

Property taxes are calculated by taxing the assessed value of a property, divided by 100, times the tax rate. These taxes are determined primarily by economic factors. A stronger housing market means higher property values.

Primary tax levies are used for the maintenance and operation of school districts, cities, community college districts and counties. Secondary tax levies consist of bonds, budget overrides, and special districts such as fire, flood control and other limited purpose districts.

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) board in May voted to increase its primary property tax rate by 1.3 percent, expected to bring in $5,935,113 in the next fiscal year. The increase will cause the tax rate on a home in the district’s vast boundaries to go up by about $1.50 per $100 of assessed valuation.

Maricopa County itself is also getting in on the action. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, in setting its expected $2.45 billion budget for fiscal year 2019, indicated it anticipates receiving more money overall from its primary and secondary property taxes, even though board members state they are not actually changing the rates.

The board does not control property values. It only sets the tax rate, which will be the same in fiscal year 2019 as it was in fiscal year 2018.

Nonetheless, residents can expect to pay about $140.09 (per $100,000 of valuation) in primary property taxes to the county, as well as $17.92 in secondary property taxes for the Flood Control District, and $5.56 to the Library District. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors will meet on Aug. 20 to vote on the final tax levy proposal.

Similarly, the city of Phoenix also says its anticipated primary property tax levy will go up, even though officials say the rate itself is going down.

According to a statement from the city, “The city of Phoenix’s proposed primary property tax rate for 2018-19 of $1.3163 per $100 of assessed valuation is lower than its 2017-18 rate of $1.3359 per $100 of assessed valuation. However, overall increases in assessed valuation result in a 2-percent increase in primary property taxes for the average city of Phoenix property owner.”

So the rate itself is dropping from about $1.34 to approximately $1.32 per $100 of assessed valuation, but the assessed valuations of homes in Phoenix are expected to rise, which will ultimately bring in more money than last year, despite the nominal drop in the rate.

The city’s secondary property tax rate for 2018-19 will remain constant at $0.8241 per $100 of assessed valuation. Secondary property taxes collected by a city pay the bonded debt service for facilities like libraries, police and fire stations, storm drains and parks.

The college district and city of Phoenix tax rate changes go into effect on July 1. The county tax rates will be reflected on property tax bills when they go out in the fall.

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