Pima County is sending notices of property valuation to homeowners Friday, and says in most areas of the county, they will show an increase in valuation.
The valuation is used to calculate how much a homeowner owes in property taxes. The county compares a property to recent sales of similar properties. For the 2015 taxes, the values being mailed today are based on 2013 sales.
The increasing property valuations are indicative of a stronger housing market, said Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry.
"Valuations are climbing in some areas of the community much more than others,” he pointed out.
The areas with the most growth are on the south and southeast sides of the Tucson metropolitan area, where the housing market decline hit hardest, he said. Ajo, in rural western Pima County, is still experiencing declining property valuations.
Increases in the valuations will not automatically mean an increase in property taxes, he said.
“The voters in Arizona this last year imposed a constitutional limitation that no matter what the actual market values do on their property, they can’t grow faster than five percent a year for tax purposes,” he said.
That's not a guarantee about taxes, though. They are based on the valuation, multiplied by the tax rate the Board of Supervisors sets each year.
“Even if the valuation is governed by this new initiative the board can also raise the tax rate to generate the tax levy to provide services," Huckelberry said.
The level of service, specifically, is what the supervisors have to weigh when deciding the tax rate.
“We have weathered the recession quite well, we have not had to have significant layoffs, not had to have furloughs for employees and really have not cut services dramatically, but what we haven’t done is increase services," Huckelberry said.
The Board of Supervisors must decide how many or few public services to provide, and then will set the tax rate to bring in enough money to pay for them.
For detailed residential 2015 valuation statistics by economic district in Pima County click here.