Property taxes rise - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Property taxes rise

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Property taxes are set to rise in Pima County by 8 percent.  

It's the third Monday in August, which means the county will set the rate.

It's the biggest single hike in decades but it does not necessarily mean a homeowner's tax bill will rise. That has more to do with a value of a home and it's fairly complicated to figure out.

Property values have been plummeting for several years and tax rates have been cut during the recession, so the county is making up some of the 19% loss to its bottom line.

On a $100 valuation, the rate, primary and secondary, goes from $5.17 to just a bit under $5,80. It means a home valued at $150,000 will go up about $75 next year, on average.

Some will go up more. Some less.

A couple of reasons, the county is giving the sheriff's department an $8 million increase because the department has not been able to stay within budget in the past couple of years."

"What happens when he (Sheriff Clarence Dupnik) overspends, we take it from somebody else," says County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry. "We can't just continue to do that so we had to raise property taxes to offset the sheriff's budget."

That hike is 11 cents of the total 63 cents increase.

Indigent defense will be another three cents.

In fact, most of the increase can be attributed to the courts, law enforcement, justice and the like.

62 cents if every dollar spent by the county goes for justice and law enforcement, meaning if they're not cut, then there's little else to pare.

Cut public safety. Most politicos are not in the mind to do that so taxes increase.

But the county has come under some criticism for this budget too.

It's spending $8 million to buy the Painted Hills property to leave as open space and another $8 million for a parcel along I10 and Kino to use as a future soccer complex.

After a howl, the county decided not to take the money from road funds to buy it, instead found "surplus" funds elsewhere.

Many people have questioned that purchase regardless of where the money is coming from. They see it as all one big bucket of money.

There are 93 taxing districts in Pima County so there are other factors which may influence the final total, like fire districts, improvement districts, libraries and flood control.

Statements will be mailed next month.

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