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  • Supervisors set budget ceiling, intend to cut taxes

    Jun 07, 2016 | Read More News
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    The Pima County Board of Supervisors at its June 7 meeting voted 4-1 to set the maximum budget limit for Fiscal Year 2017 and recommended the primary property tax rate be cut by 10 cents per $100 of net assessed value. The vote means that when the board adopts the final budget next month it can’t approve spending above the $1.233 billion budget ceiling it set today. District 4 Supervisor Ray Carroll voted no. 

    The Board will vote July 5 on final budget adoption. The fiscal year begins July 1.

    Board members noted in their discussion of the tentative budget that the proposed tax cut is a fulfillment of their promise to taxpayers during the FY 2016 budget adoption that if the county prevailed in a lawsuit against the state it would reduce the tax rate it set last year. The state last year capped its funding of Additional State Aid for Education and instead made local jurisdictions pay the majority of it, which left Pima County with a $16 million bill. The county sued, arguing the law was unconstitutional and late last month a Maricopa County Superior Court Judge agreed.

    To raise the funds to pay the state bill, the board last year raised the primary property tax rate 10 cents per $100 of assessed value and County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry recommended another 10-cent increase for the new fiscal year to raise all the funds necessary to pay the Aid to Education bill. 

    Huckelberry told the board Tuesday that it appears unlikely the state will appeal the ruling. The final ruling in the lawsuit, (Pima County and Klinefelter v. state of Arizona and Property Tax Oversight Commission, CV2015-009739) is expected June 30 and the state has several days after that to decide on an appeal. 

    Despite the court victory, another $11 million in state costs transfers were imposed on the county for next fiscal year, however the County Administrator advised the board to absorb those costs in the budget through other savings. 

    The rate reduction will reduce the county’s primary property tax levy by about $7.4 million, or about $15.56 less next year for a home with an average assessed value of $158,633. However, a recommended increase to the Regional Flood Control District rate of 2 cents per $100 of assessed value will cost that same homeowner about $3.17 more for a net overall savings of $12.39 for the average valued home. Huckelberry told the board in his Recommended Budget Memorandum that the Flood Control increase was necessary to pay for increased costs maintaining the county's watercourses.  

    The board adopted tax rates for the Regional Flood Control District, the Public Library District and the county’s debt service at its May 24 meeting. The tax rates for the Library and Debt Service were unchanged from the current fiscal year. 

     Pima County Property Proposed Property Tax Rates FY2017
     Type Current Rate New Rate % Change
     Pima County
     $4.3877  $4.2896  -2.2%
    Library  $0.5153  $0.5153  0%
    Flood Control  $0.3135  $0.3335  6.38%
     Debt Service  $0.70  $0.70  0%
     Total   $5.9165  $5.8384  -1.32%



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