Many Valley residents who hope sliding home prices will mean lower property taxes this year or next are in for a letdown.
Roughly 94 percent of homeowners will see a drop in property value when they receive notices from the Maricopa County Assessor's Office in the mail beginning Saturday. But they won't see those diminished values reflected in property tax bills, which lag 18 months behind, until late 2009.
http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/images/photos/2008/02/15/9il5x5bq.gif" rel="lytebox" class="content-link">GRAPHIC: Valley home values drop
The latest valuations represent what was happening in the market from mid-2006 to fall 2007 and are just now beginning to reflect the housing decline, County Assessor Keith Russell said.
The region's median home price fell 12.9 percent to $199,800 from $229,500, the assessor's recent report shows. But that drop in value won't necessarily translate to a decline in property taxes.
Other factors enter into the equation - including taxes collected by cities, counties, schools and special districts - and vary by where people live.
"It's quite a list," said Stefanie Campbell, vice president of the Arizona Society of Enrolled Agents, a group of licensed tax professionals. "It's not just one or two things. It's six or seven."
If a municipality's tax base goes down, the rate has to go up to bring in the same amount of money, Campbell said.