State Capitol News
Sat August 15, 2009
Lawmakers ask for delay in tax bills
By Howard Fischer
Phoenix, AZ – Top legislative leaders want county officials to delay sending
out the tax bills.
State law requires county supervisors to set the tax rates for
all jurisdictions on Monday. Only thing is there aren't the votes
in the Senate for a deal on a new state budget with Gov. Jan
Brewer, a deal that would permanently eliminate the state
property tax, more formally known as the county equalization
rate. That was suspended in 2006 but, absent legislative action,
comes back automatically this year. Senate President Bob Burns
and House Speaker Kirk Adams say county officials should set the
rate for the returning levy, as required by law, but just hold
off sending out the actual bills in case they can come up with a
deal soon to repeal the tax outright. Coconino County Treasurer
Bonny Lynn said she can be flexible -- up to a point, because she
has to work with the state Department of Revenue.
"Aug. 31 is when I'm looking at as our drop-dead date that we
would have to know whether DoR is supposed to calculate
equalization or not."
All that presumes that a deal acceptable to the governor and a
majority of lawmakers can be worked out in the next few weeks, a
deal that has now eluded them for months. Burns conceded he could
offer no concrete evidence an agreement is close.
"We've got to have faith, i guess."
If the levy returns it will add about $66 a year to the tax bill
of a $200,000 home.