State Capitol News
6:34 am
Fri March 6, 2009

Property tax initiative drive launched

Phoenix, AZ – An initiative drive launched today could give people a chance to
cut their property taxes.

The measure would roll back the assessed value of homes and
businesses to what they were in 2003, before speculators helped
spike prices and boosted the assessments of everyone else in the
neighborhood. To prevent local governments from hiking tax rates
to make up the difference, the measure limits total taxes on
homes to no more than one-half of one percent of their value. So
the owner of a house valued in 2003 at $200,000 would pay no more
than $1,000 a year. And assessments could go up from now on by
only 2 percent annually. Anyone who bought their property after
2003 would have values set at the actual purchase price.

Lynne
Weaver, who crafted the initiative, acknowledged that means those
who bought at the top of the housing market would be paying
higher taxes than their neighbors, even if the homes were
identical. But she said there is nothing wrong with that.

"Is it fair that I'm sitting here in my house. And someone down
the street decides to sell their house like mine. And they find
some fool, somebody comes along and pays an astronomical amount
for the house down the street. Now everybody in the neighborhood
is penalized with higher taxes because of that person's
decision."

Weaver needs more than 230,000 signatures by July 1, 2010 to put
the measure on next year's ballot.