Letter: Prop. 117 - Why don't property tax consultants like it?

The Bugle
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Jennifer Stielow


A letter to the editor by Jeff Nolan was recently published describing his opposition to Prop 117. It's interesting that Mr. Nolan did not disclose in his letter that he is a property tax consultant in the Phoenix area.

The property tax consulting industry, which was jump-started in the early 1980's shortly after our current property tax system was implemented, has benefited significantly from the instability in our system. I think it's ironic that an industry that appeals the property values to assessors and local boards of equalization on behalf of its clients would go to such great lengths to oppose a measure that would ultimately protect their clients/taxpayers.

I am the vice president of the Arizona Tax Research Association (ATRA), the only statewide taxpayer association representing a cross-section of individuals and businesses, and the organization responsible for getting Prop. 117 on the November ballot. I previously worked in the assessment industry for nearly 12 years, 10 of which were in the assessor's office (including a brief stint at the Yavapai County Assessor's office) and two years in the property division at the Arizona Department of Revenue. In all of my years of experience in this industry, I witnessed first-hand the unnecessary costs imposed on taxpayers by the system.

Prop. 117 will provide stability and simplicity for taxpayers and that's what some property tax consultants don't like.