Arizona Property Tax
Arizona Property Tax Information
Arizona tops the national list with percentage of property value decline. What this means to your property tax. While you will not likely see a reduction in your tax rate it is up to you to make certain your assessed value is in line with the market. It is up to you to prove the facts, let one of our local real estate professionals see if you have a case to further reduce your tax liablity. Pay no more than you need to, know your rights to appeal.
The fundamental elements of Arizona's existing system, including PRIMARY and SECONDARY taxation, LIMITED VALUES, PRIMARY LEVY LIMITS and the 1% Primary tax limitation for homeowners, were established by the 1980 Tax Reform Act. This act was adopted by voters as an alternative to Proposition 106, which was similar to Proposition 13 in California.
- File a petition with the County Assessor. The filing deadline is printed on the Notice of Value card. You must file your appeal within 60 days after the card was mailed to you.
- You may request a meeting with the County Assessor's office - or submit written evidence (Appraisal from a licensed appraiser) that supports your appeal. The assessor must consider, decide, and answer all requests on or before August 15. If you reach an agreement, no further appeal is permitted.
- If you do not agree with the assessor's decision, you may file a petition with the Board of Equalization for that county. The petition must be filed within 25 days of the date the assessor's decision was mailed to you. However, you may decide to bypass the Board and appeal directly to the Tax Court within 60 days.
- If you are not satisfied with the Board of Equalization's decision, you may appeal to the Tax Court. Be sure to file your appeal no later than 60 days after the Board of Equalization decision is mailed to you.
This section explains how assessors in Arizona use computerized systems to value single-family residential property for property tax purposes.
This term means that the calculations necessary to value property are done by automated computer systems. There are dozens of calculations made in the appraisal of even the most simple home. Before computers became available, these calculations were done by hand, using calculators, adding machines or other calculating devices. The results of each calculation were written down by hand, and all the calculations were then added together to obtain the final answer. Due to the number of calculations and human error, at times the final answer was incorrect. In addition to the potential for error, hand processing of thousands of appraisals took a great deal of time and personnel. Computer assistance allows thousands of calculations per second to a very high degree of accuracy. Not only are the results more accurate, but the number of employees required to do the calculations is greatly reduced. Appraisers can now devote more time to accurately gather the information necessary to value the property. The calculations done by the computer are the same calculations that were made before, they are just completed more quickly and with greater accuracy than ever before.
The term "mass appraisal" is defined by the International Association of Assessing Officers as "…the systematic appraisal of groups of properties as of a given date…" This differs from single property appraisal techniqueswhere the value is estimated for a single property. Technically known as a "fee appraisal," the appraisal of an average single family home may cost between $250 and $500. In contrast, the County Assessor averages only a fraction of this cost in assessing residential properties as well as complex commercial and vacant land properties. In order to handle the thousands of properties required to be appraised by state law each year, Assessors must use procedures that allow them to get the job done on time and with the funds available. These procedures are very similar to those used by fee appraisers, but are adapted for mass appraisal use and computer systems. Valuing Your Home Using Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal techniques, there are two methods available to Arizona Assessors for valuing your home: replacement cost new less depreciation, and sales analysis.
Replacement Cost New Less Depreciation
This appraisal technique is used by both fee appraisers and Assessors to value property. This method starts with the cost to build or reproduce your property today, as if it were new, and is called "Replacement Cost New."
Replacement Cost New figures are based on many factors, including the size of the home, type of construction, quality of materials, design, and features in the home. The construction cost are obtained from a nationally recognized cost valuation company providing local construction costs. These costs are computerized and updated annually. The land value is obtained by sales analysis of comparable vacant land. Of course, few properties are brand new, so depreciation must be deducted for wear and tear, actions of the elements (sun, rain, snow, etc.), and physical or insect damage. Depreciation is based upon observation by trained appraisers, along with the age and current condition of the structure. Depreciation tables which have been developed through structure mortality studies and sales of similar types of properties are used to estimate the loss in value from the property's new condition. Further depreciation is considered for functional and economic obsolescence that the property might suffer. The total amount of depreciation is then subtracted from Replacement Cost New to obtain the current estimated value of the house and other physical improvements (fences, swimming pools, driveways, etc.) The land value is then added to the depreciated value of the improvements to obtain the total property value.
Perhaps the oldest method for estimating the value of property is to examine what similar properties are selling for in the local market. This method is used by both fee appraisers and Assessors. Through the analysis of sales using computers, the average selling price per square foot of various types of homes can be determined. Sales are independently analyzed for each county in Arizona, and each market area within the county. The average price for each type of home is then adjusted for the specific differences between the average home and the home being valued. Adjustments are made for items such as size, construction type, quality of materials, design, amenities, age, and condition. Each home is adjusted based upon its individual characteristics.
Is One Appraisal Method Better Than The Other?
All methods, if used appropriately, are and can be very accurate. Of course, the sales analysis method has the advantage of reacting to what buyers and sellers in the local market are doing. That is why the majority of single family homes and condominiums in Arizona are valued using the sales analysis method. Where adequate sales are not available for analysis, the cost method is used. This generally occurs in rural areas or with very high quality or low quality homes which do not sell that frequently.
How To Find Out Which Method Was Used On My Home?
Contact your local County Assessor's Office. The Assessor's staff will assist you with any questions you might have regarding how your property was valued.
Can I Select Which Method Is Used For MyHome?
In general, no. The Assessor selects which method to use based upon technical considerations such as the accuracy of each method for that area and the number of sales available for analysis.
Arizona County Assessor Offices
Apache County Assessor
Greenlee County Assessor
Pima County Assessor
Cochise County Assessor
La Paz County Assessor
Pinal County Assessor
Coconino County Assessor
Maricopa County Assessor
Santa Cruz County
Gila County Assessor
Mohave County Assessor
Yavapai County Assessor
Graham County Assessor
Navajo County Assessor
Yuma County Assessor
It is the role of the County Assessor to identify, value and assess. The County Assessor is mandated by statute to value real property to determine what it is worth on the market using standard appraisal methods and techniques (Sales Comparison Method, Replacement Cost less Depreciation Method, Income Method).
FULL CASH VALUE The Assessor, using the standard valuation methods, determines what is called the full cash value of the property. This value is used when determining how much taxes are due on Secondary Property taxes, such as those for special districts, fire districts, school districts, bond issues, and bond overrides. There is no limit on the growth rate of this value and it fluctuates from year to year with the market.
LIMITED CASH VALUE Limited Cash Value is used for counties, cities, towns, and community college districts. The limited value of property is determined by taking the limited property value of the property in the preceding valuation year plus the greater of either: 10% of that value or 25% of the difference between the full cash value of the parcel in the current valuation year and the limited value of the parcel in the preceding valuation year. Under no circumstances may the limited value of the property ever exceed its current full cash value.
The property's ASSESSED VALUATION can be determined by using a statutory formula, or commonly referred to as Assessment Ratio (10% for Owner-Occupied Residential Property).
Under the Arizona Constitution there are a Homeowner tax limit and Homeowners rebate, which limits amounts of primary taxes from all taxing jurisdictions on owner-occupied homes to 1% of the property full cash value. Usually, the total primary taxes for homeowners stays below this level, in part because the state pays 35% of the school district primary rate that is imposed on the homeowner. If the taxes should exceed 1 % of the property's full cash value because of school district taxes, a credit is given to the homeowner for the excess.