Your Property Taxes May Be Higher, Here’s Why

Arizona has released its latest property-tax bills for the metro Phoenix area, and the results may be higher taxes for many homeowners in Maricopa County.  The actual hike in property taxes for each homeowner, however, will depend on exactly where the property is located. 

The metro Phoenix area, located within Maricopa County in Arizona, is one of the fastest growing counties in the United States.  The new growth is a positive for the economy, but also comes with an increase in property taxes to help support and sustain the new growth.  The process of determining the appropriate yearly property-tax rate, however, involves more than the average homeowner may assume. 

Yearly property-tax rates for residents of the metro Phoenix area are set by a number of different entities during the summer months, prior to their release in early fall.  The number and type of entities in the residential district is the key to calculating the property-tax bill and increase each homeowner will see on their latest property-tax bill.  The entities that determine the property-tax rates shown on your bill include the county, the city, local school districts, water, fire, and lighting districts.  The determination of the total property-taxes paid to each entity by homeowners is made by multiplying the home’s assessed value, determined by the Maricopa County Assessor’s Office, and each entity’s 2017 tax rate.

For 2017 property-tax bills, the result of the combined county and district taxes amount to a hefty rise.  Maricopa County’s tax rate saw a rise of approximately 6 percent from last year’s tax rate. However, public schools and community colleges can be attributed for the largest percentage of the property-tax increase.  School districts’ increased rates account for approximately 64 percent of a homeowner’s 2017 property-tax bill. Comparatively, only about 11 percent of homeowner property-taxes go to homeowner’s individual cities of residency.

The inclusion of individual entities to determine property-tax rates for the 2017 fiscal year mean that some homeowners located in more densely populated areas with additional taxing entities, including areas with multiple school districts, may ultimately see property-tax increases on their bills in the double digits.  Whereas other homeowners, who have fewer taxing entities and single school districts in their area, will likely only see single digit property-tax increases this time around.

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