Why do we need an initiative?

  • Some  of our elected officials have in the past introduced legislation that would limit property tax increases and protect property owners.  Unfortunately, they have been unable to get the necessary votes to pass the legislation.  An initiative goes straight to the citizens and allows them to make the desired changes in our laws.
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What does the initiative actually do?

  •  The initiative uses purchase price as the basis for taxation.  Properties purchased prior to January 1, 2014 will use the County Assessor 2012 or 2013 Full Cash Value, whichever is lower, as the tax basis until the property is sold and a new purchase price is established. It caps the total tax rate at 0.5% for all residential property and 1% for all other real property, limits valuation increases to no more than 2% per year, and eliminates exceptions to these limits.
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Will it lower my property taxes this year?

  •  The initiative will be on the ballot in November of 2014 and if passed into will go into effect in January 2015. Most property owners will see some reduction in their tax bill.  More importantly, you will have protection from unaffordable tax increases for as long as you own your property.
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If I rent, will this eliminate my landlord increasing my rent due to property taxes?

  •  With property tax increases limited to 2% per year, your landlord will only need to pass on that small amount to you through a rent increase.
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Will the initiative prevent all tax increases?

  •  No, your tax could increase by 2% per year. When property is sold, the new purchase price resets the basis for taxes due which could be higher than what the previous owner paid.
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If this initiative passes, on average, how much will my taxes go down?

  •  The current complex system of property taxation makes an average tax reduction per property owner difficult to determine.  Over the past several years, valuation increases had wide disparities throughout the state and even within communities.
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How will this impact Police and fire Departments?

  •  Public safety usually takes top priority in municipal budgets and should not be affected by property tax limitations.
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How will this impact School districts?

  •  It will still provide plenty of tax revenue to school districts and will require replacement of the current school funding formula with one that hopefully better serves students and teachers.
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Why should businesses get a reduction on their property taxes?

  •  Property taxes are passed on to consumers by various means including higher prices on the products or services the business offers.
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Does this mean the County Assessors officewon’t be speculating on the value of my home to determine my property tax bill?

  •  That is correct.  After Limit Property Taxes is implemented, there will be no need to speculate about home valuations.
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How do property taxes affect the value of my home?

  •  According to The Wall Street Journal, every $100. increase in your property taxes reduces the value of your home by $1,200.
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Will Limit Property Taxes bring new businesses into the state?

  • That is quite probable. Reducing the commercial property tax rate to 1% makes us competitive with other states including California which has had a 1% rate for the past 35 years.
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Will this affect the states economy?

  • Yes,  Limit Property Taxes should help the Arizona economy.  Tax policy is instrumental to business decisions.  The Tax Foundation explains the importance:
  • “Taxes matter to business.  Business taxes affect business decisions, job creation and retention, plant location, competitiveness, the transparency of the tax system, and the long-term health of a state’s economy.  Most importantly taxes diminish profits.  If taxes take a larger portion of profits, that cost is passed along to either consumers (through higher prices), employees (through lower wages or fewer jobs), or shareholders (through lower dividends or share value).  Thus, a state with lower tax costs will be more attractive to business investment, and more likely to experience economic growth.”
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Is a 2% annual increase enough money for government?

  • Many of our citizens get less than a 2% income increase per year. Arizona is a retirement state. Those on fixed income receive only cost of living increases in their Social Security checks and no increase in their pension checks. Only government retiree pension checks offer cost of living increases.  Government budgets need to stay in line with citizen’s income. 
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How many signatures are required for the initiative to qualify for the 2012 ballot ?

  • We need 259,213 valid voter signatures to qualify for the ballot.
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What is the current formula to determine property taxes?

  •  (Valuation) X (Tax Rate) = Tax Due.  The valuation is conjured up by the County Assessor and the taxing districts set the tax rates based on how much money they want to spend.
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Since our property tax bills will no longer have “primary” and “secondary” designations, how will the money be distributed to the taxing districts?

  •  The Legislature will resolve any new questions as to how property tax revenue will be distributed.
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Without secondary taxes, what happens to existing debt and bond obligations?

  •  Debt and bond obligations will remain the same.  Taxing districts will simply receive one lump sum of money with which to pay their bills.
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What if we want to issue new bonds for a project?

  • Taxing districts can put proposed bond issues on the ballot to get voter opinion but can not raise taxes or bring in additional tax revenue.

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