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ATRA Press Releases
In a split vote, the Town of Gilbert elected to raise its secondary property tax for FY17 from a rate of $1.0567 to $1.0609. This results in a tax levy increase of approximately $1.5 million. Surprisingly, some councilmembers attempted to argue the tax rate and levy increase wasn’t a tax increase at all. For town leaders to suggest this is not a tax increase is simple obfuscation.
In actuality, the rate should have decreased substantially this year if they accounted for what property taxpayers have already paid. For cities and towns, the secondary property tax is used exclusively for the repayment of voter-approved bonds. The estimated debt service schedule in this year is $22.7 million. The town has previously over collected nearly $15 million for this purpose. This money is not a rainy day fund and cannot be used for any other purpose. The town voted to use just 12% of this overpayment account ($1.7 million) to pay for debt service in FY17. It is regrettable the town elected to increase taxes while it earns interest on past over-collections which sit in the bank. Taxpayers must pay the debt-service on bonds, but they first ought to be credited for what they have already paid. At a minimum, Gilbert owes a specific plan to its taxpayers to credit them back for what they have previously overpaid. There is no financial justification to stockpile a massive sum as taxpayers are constitutionally obliged to repay the debt service on voter-approved debt each year via the property tax, making it an incredibly reliable and secure debt-instrument.
Kevin McCarthy, President
Many Maricopa County lawmakers have been asking for information regarding tax rate changes in their respective districts in order to respond to their constituents' questions resulting from the Maricopa County Treasurer Hos Hoskins' letter to homeowners blaming the State Legislature and the Arizona Tax Research Association for any tax increases in those bills.
For a copy of Hoskins' letter to Homeowners please see http://www.arizonatax.org/sites/default/files/press_release/hoskins_lett...
The Arizona Tax Research Association (ATRA) Board of Directors voted at its June meeting to oppose the so-called “Quality Jobs and Education” initiative that is currently being circulated for qualification for the November general election ballot.
The Arizona Tax Research Association (ATRA) Selected Fritz Behring as the recipient of the J. Elliott Hibbs ATRA Good Government Award for 2011. The award was presented during ATRA's Annual Meeting Luncheon on Friday, November 18 at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort.
The Arizona Tax Research Association (ATRA)Board of Directors has voted to support Proposition 100, the temporary 1-cent sales tax rate increase that has been referred to the voters on May 18, 2010.
In Maricopa County, more than half of the districts with override elections on next week’s ballot are asking voters to approve an override that the voters already rejected. In all but one of those districts the voters rejected the overrides only 4 months ago. In some districts, such as Dysart Elementary and Union Elementary, the defeats were resounding with “no” votes outnumbering “yes” votes by more than 2 to 1.
With Governor Brewer’s veto today of Senate Bill 1025, Arizona property taxpayers, and in particular businesses and employers, will see higher property taxes added to their current list of economic challenges.