A booming real estate market has made property across Maricopa County worth more. About 51.78 percent more on average, according to the county assessor’s office.
Assessed valuations across East Valley communities rose from a high of 68 percent in Ahwatukee Foothills to a low of 43 percent in Paradise Valley, where the median full cash value of a house is now $1 million, according to figures released Thursday.
Homeowners will soon see exactly how much their own property is worth when the 2007 property valuation notices are sent out Monday.
“We’ve mailing out a little more than 1.3 million notices,” said County Assessor Keith Russell.
“Our process is to look at what is actually sold in the market. These are based on actual sales and the actual sales have been adjusted to reflect each individual piece of property,” Russell said.
The valuation notices are not a tax bill. Instead, they are used to determine an individual property owner’s portion of what it takes to run the school district, city or fire district in which they belong.
“The assessed value is used to determine the pro rata share of a total tax liability,” Russell said. “We don’t send out tax bills, collect them or even calculate them.”
Russell pointed out that the assessor’s office is required by law to set property valuations that reflect the actual market.
Despite the increase in valuations, it does not necessarily mean that a person’s tax bill will rise.
That’s because municipalities and school districts have not determined their individual budgets for 2007.
Those are typically approved in August of the preceding year.
Kevin McCarthy, president of the Arizona Tax Research Association, a legislative advocacy group that represents taxpayers, said homeowners need to pay attention to what these numbers could mean to their pocketbooks.
“The relief has to come from the tax rate side to mitigate what could be huge tax increases,” McCarthy said.
Maricopa County Supervisors Chairman Don Stapley, RDistrict 2 of Mesa, Gilbert and Scottsdale, said the fivemember board agreed to a 2 percent cap on its tax base earlier this year.
But typically, the county’s tax comprises just 10 percent of a property owner’s overall tax bill, Stapley said.
Education makes up more than 70 percent of a property tax bill, with 10 percent composed of municipal taxes, and 6 percent special districts, such as fire or lighting.
Homeowners need to look at their notice and act quickly if they disagree with the valuation.
They have about eight weeks to file an appeal.
Homeowners need to ask, “Can I sell my property for the assessed amount? And if the answer is ‘no,’ then they need to appeal,” Russell said.
Property owners should see less of a sticker shock next year, because Russell said his administration will conduct annual valuations on residential property.
The 2007 notices of valuation represent two years of appreciation because of an outdated policy established by Russell’s predecessor.
Russell became the county assessor in January 2005.