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Arizona - Both Sides of Prop 117

by Rick Edwards, Phoenix, September 2012

 

In the November General Election, Arizona voters will consider changing the system used to calculate property taxes.

 

Currently, Arizona real property is taxed on two values:

 

1. Full Cash Value (FCV), which has no limit in annual growth since it is intended to reflect the property's market value.

 

2. Limited Property Value (LPV), which is capped at 10%.

 

Prop 117 does away with the FCV and lowers the cap on the LPV to 5%. July 11th was the deadline to submit pro and con statements on Prop 117 for an election pamphlet. The following are some of the opinions expressed. .

 

 

 

 

 

Pro

 

Con

 
 
 
On Simplification
 
 
"Prop 117 will simplify the property tax system by using a single limited value for the calculation of all property taxes."
 
– Arizona Senator Steven Yarbrough
 
 
"Prop 117 makes the tax laws more complex and less understandable. If it passes, it only caps appraisal values. Therefore, governmental bodies can merely increase the tax rates to make up the difference."
 
– Daniel T. Garrett, Former Arizona Department of Revenue General Counsel
 
 
 
 
On Tax Shifts
 
 
"The provision would not shift tax burdens from commercial properties to residential properties."
 
– James Brodnax, resident
Glendale, AZ
 
 
"Studies show that appraisal caps are bad public policy – rather than reduce property taxes, they shift property taxes away from developers and large land owners over to owners of houses in medium and low income neighborhoods. This is not even a step in the right direction."
 
– Chris Glidewell, Citizens for Truth in Taxation
 
 
 
 
On Controlling Taxes
 
 
"Prop 117 will protect taxpayers from dramatic increases in property valuations that often lead to significant tax increases."
 
– Kevin McCarthy, Arizona Tax
Research Association
 
 
"Prop 117 does nothing to limit your property tax bill or annual tax increases. Prop 117 just pretends to offer property tax relief or reform. It lacks any restraint on tax rate increases, so does nothing to curb how much money taxing districts can collect from you. It still allows the addition of new taxing districts, more debt, and higher tax 'overrides' to your bill."
 
– Lynne Weaver, Prop 13 Arizona
 
 

 

 

It's easy to see how taxpayers can get confused by the rhetoric. Both sides agree that cities, towns, and counties depend heavily on property tax revenues and appraisal caps can't make government services cost less.