Earth Notes
1:50 am
Tue March 7, 2006

AZ Property Tax Revolt

Phoenix, AZ – The move comes as Arizonans are getting notices from
county assessors showing the latest valuation figures
for their homes -- figures that have shot up by 50
percent in some areas of the state. That could
translate into higher city, county and school taxes
even if tax rates stay the same. This measure would cap
the year-to-year increases at 2 percent. Sen. Ron Gould
acknowledged that nothing in his measure would prevent
local officials from hiking tax rates to bring in more
money -- nothing, that is, except political reality.

(Generally that pretty much gets you thrown out of
office for the most part if you were to vote a tax
increase. Basically what it would do, they would still
be allowed to do that. But it's politically
unacceptable.)

Gould's measure is less far-reaching than a proposal
being pushed by some northwest Arizona property owenrs
who have formed a group called Arizona Tax Revolt.
Their initiative would reset values to 2003 levels and
freeze them there until a property sells. Gould said
there are flaws with that kind of reset.

(It ends up being a problem because you have somebody
that's lived in the neighborhood for 20 years pays
$1,000 and somebody new moves into the neighborhood and
they pay $3,000.)

Gould's measure eventually would have to be approved by
voters in November. In Phoenix, for Arizona Public
Radio this is Howard Fischer.