Pima County, Arizona, encompasses the city of Tucson, which has over half a million residents.
As of November 2010, the first half of property tax bills is now due, with the second half due in March. Some cities within Pima County have lowered their property taxes, but others have raised them.
If you are a resident in Pima County, Arizona, you may have noticed that your home's appraisal has fallen, but your bill remains the same or even higher than last year's. The reason is because tax rates are rising at almost the same rate as property values are falling. The county must raise taxes in order to keep the same services as last year, most of which are chosen by voters. Property taxes in Pima County go toward "primary" and "secondary" taxes. Primary taxes go toward public educational facilities; secondary taxes go toward fire departments and other city expenses and budgets.
In the city of Green Valley, appraisers are de-valuing properties, but tax rates in the city of Sahuarita are rising by eleven percent. Residents in Green Valley are going to see a slight drop in property values, between ten and thirteen percent on average. Other areas are seeing a slightly smaller decrease in assessments.
Arizona is a unique state because property assessments are behind market values by a year and a half on average. This is a good situation when the economy is healthy, but not when there is a recession or depression. Assessors find out the "full cash value" of a property as well as the "limited value." The two values are then multiplied by the assessment ratio and divided by 100. The total is then multiplied by the tax rate.
Pima County has not seen property values drop since 1993. Homes in rural areas of the county are often valued much lower than urban homes. Other states that have also seen this type of drastic drop include Idaho and Georgia.