After years of a stable tax rate, Pima County is poised to raise property tax rates.
Still, the owner of an average Pima County home of $145,000 would see a drop in property taxes.
"Based on the rates I've recommended, they will see a $14 decrease in their taxes," says Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry.
Huckelberry says Pima County will again bring in less revenue this year than last.
According to a county press release, "the budget will reduce property taxes by $4.3 million for next year."
But the property tax levy will increase 24 cents bringing it up to $3.65 per one hundred assessed valuation.
Most homeowners will see a decrease because their homes are still worth less than they were in 2011. At least they are as far as the County Assessors office values them.
Huckelberry sees another two years of lower valuations for Pima County property owners before things level out.
"Instead of being 8% as they are this year, it will be 3% or 1% in the next two years," he says.
That's because property valuations lag about two years behind the economy.
This year's budget proposal is nearly a cut and paste project from last year.
"It's a maintenance-of-effort budget," the county press release says.
"There are no new programs, no new expenditures," says Huckelberry.
However, some money will be moved around to make the Pima County Attorney's Office and Sheriff's department whole.
Both are losing federal and state grants which are used for a variety of public safety programs.
"The philosophy that we have is the last thing we reduce is Pima County is justice and law enforcement," he says.
Huckelberry blames the cuts on the sequester, a Washington based series of budget cuts.
The budget also proposes pay raises for the county's 6,000 employees.
1% in July at the beginning of the fiscal year and another 2% in January.
"It's because they haven't had a pay raise in six years," he says. "It's not a lot but it's in fact an increase."
According to the county, the budget is nearly 15% smaller than it was in 2008 when the recession began.
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