Home values are on the rise in Maricopa, signaling more revenue gains for the city despite lower property taxes.
The Maricopa City Council passed the 2017-18 operating budget June 20, and among its revenue items the city has indicated an increase of more than $400,000 dollars in property tax revenue despite effective rates actually shrinking.
The primary property tax rate of 4.7845 percent ($4.7845 per $100 of assessed value) will remain the same, according to budget documents, while the secondary property tax rate will fall from 1.69 percent to 1.40 percent ($1.40 per $100 of assessed value).
This positive assessment, City of Maricopa Finance Director Brenda Hasler said, is a result of rising home values.
“Due to increased property values, the overall amount the City is proposing to collect will increase,” Hassler said.
According to the Pinal County Assessor’s office, the primary property tax is to be used for “basic maintenance and operation of a county, city or school.”
Secondary property taxes are used to pay for “bonded indebtedness of a local jurisdiction, voter approved overrides of tax limits, and taxes levied by special taxing districts.”
For Maricopa, the excess primary property tax revenue will be spent primarily on public safety, City Manager Gregory Rose said. This is largely due to the fact that fire and police make up the largest budgetary expenditures and not because the city has a mandate to spend it on specific services.
“All of the funding that will be received for property taxes will be used for general services,” Rose said. “So, they won’t be dedicated to one specific department, although public safety makes up about 61 percent of the budget.”
Those general services, Rose added, include the addition of several positions to the police and fire departments as well as positions in the accounting and permitting departments at City Hall.
For the previous fiscal year (2016-17), the city took in $10,992,790 from primary property taxes and $3,732,776 in secondary property taxes for a combined total property tax revenue of $14,725,566.
In 2017-18 the city has budgeted for revenue of $11,704,000 from primary property taxes and $3,426,003 from secondary property taxes for a combined collection of $15,130,003.