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Property Taxes - Frequently Asked Questions

Understanding your Property Tax Statement

What are Property Taxes?

In Arizona, property is assessed and taxed on an annual basis by the county where the property is physically located. Your tax amount is a function of assessed valuation and the tax rates established by the various taxing jurisdictions in which your property is located.

What is a Primary Tax?

The primary tax is the aggregate of a number of different taxes levied for the maintenance and operation of the school district, city/town, community college district, county and the state in which your property is located. The primary tax is calculated using your property's Limited Value.

What is a Secondary Tax?

The secondary tax is comprised mainly of commitments to satisfy bond indebtedness of jurisdictions, fund voter-approved budget overrides and to support the operations of the special taxing districts (fire, flood control, street lighting and other limited purpose districts) in which your property is located. The secondary tax is calculated using the Limited Value of your property.

What is CAGRD?

CAGRD stands for the Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District. The CAGRD tax is an assessment levied on member lands by CAGRD to pay for water, infrastructure, and debt service in order to perform its replenishment obligations. The replenishment assessment is based on the number of acre-feet of excess groundwater delivered to the member parcel. For tax year 2018, the rate is $717 per acre-foot.

In addition, the CAGRD collects member dues. This is an up-front fee to help fund the acquisition of water rights, development of infrastructure and establishment of a replenishment reserve of long-term storage credits. For tax year 2018, the CAGRD member dues is $24.54 per lot. A parcel is composed of one or more lots.

Additional information is available on the CAGRD website.

What is a Community Facilities District?

A Community Facilities District (CFD) is a special purpose district formed for the purpose of acquiring, improving, and maintaining public infrastructure and providing enhanced municipal services within a defined area. The statutes allow the CFD to issue bonds, assess properties, and levy ad valorem taxes. The CFD assesses/taxes only the lands and landowners that are within its boundaries (the defined area). A CFD is formed pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) under Title 48, Chapter 4, Article 6. The statutes are found on the State of Arizona website on the ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES page.

How are my taxes calculated?

The calculation is as follows:

Primary Tax = Limited Value times Assessment Ratio times Primary Tax Rate divided by $100
Secondary Tax = Limited Value times Assessment Ratio times Secondary Tax Rate divided by $100
TOTAL TAX = Primary Tax + Secondary Tax

What is Full Cash Value?

Full Cash Value approximates market value and is determined annually using standard appraisal methods and techniques. Per statute, full cash value shall not be greater than market value.

What is Limited Value?

Limited Value is the basis for Primary and Secondary Property Taxes. It is a legislatively established value based on a mathematical formula that limits the amount of increase in any given year.

This year's taxes are based on what value?

By statute, the County uses the value of your property on January 1 of the previous year when calculating your current year property taxes. The 2018 tax statement uses your property's value as of January 1, 2017, as determined by the County Assessor or the Arizona Department of Revenue.

What is an exemption?

Property is subject to taxation unless it falls under one of the types of property exempted by the Arizona constitution. For example, qualifying religious organizations, qualifying educational facilities and property owned by federal, state, city, and county governments are all examples of properties that are eligible for exemption. An exemption may result in a reduction in property taxes depending on the value of the residence. For more information, visit http://www.asr.pima.gov/ValuationRelief/Exemption or call the Pima County Assessor's Office Exemption Section at (520) 724-7500.

What is a jurisdiction?

A jurisdiction is a political subdivision that has the authority to levy taxes. School districts, fire districts, community college districts, cities and towns, counties and irrigation districts are all examples of taxing jurisdictions. Visit our Taxing Authorities and Tax Rates page to learn more and find contact information for each taxing jurisdiction.


Your property tax dollars at work

There are many different property tax levies on my tax statement. What levies go directly to Pima County?

Of the 94 separate tax levies that can be on your 2018 property tax bill statement, only four are controlled by the Pima County Board of Supervisors:
  • Pima County Primary
  • Debt Service
  • Library District
  • Regional Flood Control District
The remaining levies are set entirely by other elected governing bodies or result from the requirements of state law.

Where do property tax dollars go?

Only a portion of your tax dollars goes to fund the operations of Pima County. By statute, the County is required each year to collect property taxes for all jurisdictions authorized to levy such taxes. In aggregate for all jurisdictions, of the total $1.289 billion of property taxes levied:

  • 36% goes to the County General Fund, Debt Service, Library District and Regional Flood Control District
  • 43% goes to the various School Districts
  • 9% goes to Pima Community College
  • 4% goes to various cities and towns
  • 8% goes to other taxing jurisdictions located in the County (fire districts, improvement districts, etc.)

What do my property taxes pay for in County services?

Of each dollar paid by you in property taxes, approximately:
  • 46% supports Public Safety
  • 19% supports Health related services
  • 12% supports Debt Service
  • 9% supports County Libraries
  • 5% supports the Regional Flood Control District
  • 5% supports Parks and Recreation
  • 4% supports various Community Services
Read More...

What is Pima County's budget process?

Budgeting is a year round process in Pima County. Actual revenues and expenditures are tracked throughout the budget year and are used as a basis for the next year's budget. Departments submit their individual budgets in February. The County Administrator provides the Board of Supervisors with his recommended budget at the end of April. The Board of Supervisors holds budget hearings and tentatively adopts a budget ceiling in mid-May. The final budget hearings and budget adoption occur in June. The tax levies from all the taxing jurisdictions are aggregated in August and the various levies are adopted on the third Monday of August. Property tax bills are mailed in September.


Getting your property tax questions answered

What do I do if I think my valuation is too high?

Please note that the valuation used to calculate your 2018 tax bill is the value of your property as of January 1, 2017. Contact the Assessor's Office at (520) 724-8630 for help with the appeals process when you receive the next Notice of Value for Tax Year 2020.

What do I do if I think my tax rate is too high?

Please contact the appropriate jurisdiction(s) listed on your tax bill. To find the contact information for each taxing jurisdiction, visit our Taxing Authorities and Tax Rates page.

What do I do if I can't pay my taxes?

If you have difficulty paying your taxes, there are some programs available that may help you. The Assessor's Office can provide you with more information should you qualify for available property exemptions or the Senior Property Value Freeze. Please call the Assessor's Office at (520) 724-7500 for more information or visit http://www.asr.pima.gov/ValuationRelief/Exemption and http://www.asr.pima.gov/ValuationRelief/SeniorProtection.

Where do I call if I have questions regarding property tax calculations?

Please call: (520) 724-8650 or (520) 724-8750

Where can I find more information?

Additional information is available at the following sites:

Pima County Treasurer FAQs and

Pima County Assessor FAQs for information on the following topics: 

Ownership   
Residential Classification
Residential Valuation   
Manufactured Home Valuation
Personal Property Valuation
Personal Property Reporting
Business Leasing Reporting
Improvement Possessory Rights
Parcel Segregations (Splits)
Parcel Combinations
Exemptions
Senior Valuation Protection

 

How do I get the homestead exemption for my property?

The homestead exemption in Arizona exempts the primary residence of an owner from attachment, execution and forced sale in an amount up to $150,000. The exemption is automatic and no written claim is required.  The following sites provide additional information:
Arizona State Senate Issue Brief
Arizona Statute (ARS 33-1101)

How do I find the parcel number (state code) for my property?

Property search tools are located on the websites of the Assessor and Treasurer

I lost /misplaced my tax statement.  How do I get a duplicate?

A duplicate tax statement is available on the Treasurer’s website or can be requested by calling the Treasurer’s Office at (520) 724-8341.

I paid off my mortgage.  What do I need to do?

Contact the Treasurer’s Office at (520) 724-8341.  They can advise you of any unpaid taxes and explain the billing process including due dates and delinquency dates.

I own multiple parcels.  Can I use one check to pay the taxes on all of them?

Yes.  Please make sure the coupons for all parcels are included in the envelope with the check payment.  It is also advisable to indicate the parcel numbers on the front of the check.  Contact the Treasurer’s Office at (520) 724-8341 if you have additional questions. 

How can I pay my property taxes?

  1. Payment can be made in the form of check, cashier’s check, or money order and should be mailed to the Pima County Treasurer at P.O. Box 29011, Phoenix, AZ  85038-9011.
  2. Payment can be made online through the Treasurer’s website under the Tax Payments option.  Form of payment may be:
    1. eCheck (electronic check) – There is a processing fee of $0.50 per transaction.
    2. Visa/ MasterCard, Discover credit and debit cards  -  There is a convenience fee of 1.95% ($1.95 minimum) of the tax payment amount.
    3. PayPal – There is a processing fee of $3.95 per transaction
  3. Payment can be made in person at the Treasurer’s office at the Pima County Public Service Center, 240 N. Stone Ave., Tucson, AZ  85701.
  4. Payment is NOT accepted over the phone.

Can I make partial payments on my taxes?

The Treasurer can accept partial payments for the current year taxes.  Payment must be the greater of $10 or 10% of the amount due.  For additional questions regarding partial payments, contact the Treasurer’s Office at (520) 724-8341.

How can I get a receipt for my tax payment?

The Pima County Treasurer can provide you with a receipt.  The Treasurer’s office can be reached at (520) 724-8341.  At your request, they will send you the receipt by mail or e-mail.

Why did I get a coupon statement?  My mortgage company pays my property taxes.

Various tax services provide lists of properties that they expect the mortgage companies to pay.  If your parcel is not listed, you will receive a coupon statement.  You should contact your mortgage company and confirm that they are indeed paying the taxes for your parcel.

What is the mill (millage) rate for Pima County?

Other states tax properties using the mill rate.  It is applied to the market value of the home to determine the tax.  Pima County, as well as all of Arizona, does not use a mill rate.

 Instead, the tax rate for a property is determined by the tax area in which it is located.  The tax rate of a property is the sum of the rates for state, county, municipal, and special districts applicable to the individual tax area.  The tax rate is set per $100 of assessed value. In Pima County, alone, there are more than 200 tax areas.  The “Index of tax rates by Assessor Tax Area Code” is found on the Pima County website on the Property Tax Information page.

Are there any property tax exemption/discount program?

Taxpayers may be eligible for the disability exemption or the widow/widower exemption.  Eligibility qualifications, required documents, and application forms are available from the Pima County Assessor website on the Exemptions page.

Taxpayers may also be eligible for the senior property valuation protection.  Eligibility qualifications, required documents, and application forms are available from the Pima County Assessor website on the Senior Property Valuation Protection page.

The State of Arizona offers a property tax credit if you meet certain requirements.  A claim for the credit must be filed with the State of Arizona on Form 140 PTC.  Information regarding the credit is available on the AZ Department of Revenue website on the 140 PTC Form page.  For information or help, call (800) 352-4090.

Are there any property tax exemption/discount programs specifically for military veterans?

There are no programs specific to military veterans.  However, the veteran may qualify for the widow/widower exemption, the senior property valuation protection, and/or the State of Arizona property tax credit as outlined in response to the question above.

I received a tax statement for a property that I no longer own.  What should I do with the tax statement?

You could forward the statement to the new/current owner as a courtesy but you are not obligated.

How can I get an estimate of property taxes for a home that has not built yet or is not yet completed?

Contact the tax help line at (520) 724-8650 or (520) 724-8750.  You will need to provide the parcel number or property address.  We will estimate the taxes based on available information.

What factors are taken into consideration when the Assessor values a property?

There are three methods of appraising or establishing the Full Cash Value (FCV) of a property.  The appraisal process is explained on the Assessor’s Assessment Information page.

How do I find out if my property qualifies for historic classification?

Information and forms for the reclassification of owner-occupied property to historic property can be found on the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) website.  All applications must be submitted to the Assessor by June 30th of the valuation year to qualify for the next tax year.

The residential characteristics on my property are incorrect.  How do I update them?

A Notice of Claim (NOC) may be filed with the Assessor if there is a factual error concerning the valuation or classification of a property.  The procedures, deadlines, and forms for filing the NOC are on the Assessor’s Appeals Process page.  For questions and additional information, contact the Assessor at (520) 724-8630.

Why did my taxes increase?

Tax increases are a result of either an increase in the limited value of your property, an increase in tax rates, or both.  The change in taxable value and tax rates can be determined by comparing your previous year tax statement and your current year tax statement.  In addition, the current year statement shows detail for the primary and secondary authorities including the current year tax, the prior year tax and the difference.  (Tax statement for the current year and prior 3 years are available on the Treasurer’s Property Tax Statement page.)