Contrary to what many people think, the County Assessor is not responsible for taxes. The Assessor is responsible for ensuring that properties are included on the tax roll and for establishing values for property. It is true that taxes are levied against assessed valuation, but the amount of taxes to be levied is determined by each taxing jurisdiction in which property is located. For example, your property may be located within an incorporated city or town, a school district, a community college district, a fire district, and a special improvement district. All of those jurisdictions have taxing authority. In addition, your property is also located within the County and within the State of Arizona. Yavapai County levies a property tax for General Fund purposes, and the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors also sits as the Board of Directors for the Yavapai County Free Library District and the Yavapai County Flood Control District, both of which are special districts that levy taxes. The State of Arizona does not currently levy a property tax for General Fund purposes.
The property tax rates that are levied by the various taxing jurisdictions are determined by the following formula:
Levy (budget amount) divided by Total Assessed Value of Jurisdiction – Tax Rate
The tax rate is then applied against the assessed value of your property. The assessed value of your property is the full cash value times the assessment ratio, and the assessment ratio depends on what type of property you have. For example, owner-occupied residential properties are assessed at 10% of their value. Therefore, if you own a home valued at $100,000, the assessed value of your property would be $10,000 or $100,000 x 10%. The tax rate from the jurisdiction is not levied against your entire assessed value, but instead is levied against each $100 of your assessed value. For example, the following formula would apply to the $100,000 owner-occupied home mentioned above:
$100,000 X .10 – $10,000 divided by $100 = $100 X Tax Rate = Tax Liability
Depending upon which jurisdiction is levying the tax, the tax rate is applied against either the Full Cash Value or Limited Value of your property. With the exception of special districts, including fire districts, and bond issues, the property tax rates levied by the various jurisdictions are levied against the Limited Value of your property. This value may equal your full cash value, but in some cases it may be less than the Full Cash Value. Taxes for special districts and for bond issues are levied against the Full Cash Value of your property.
Taxing jurisdictions are required by law to publish their proposed budgets and hold public hearings on them. If you are concerned about the tax rates being levied by the various jurisdictions which have authority to levy taxes on your property, you should consider attending budget hearings and making your concerns known. Tax rates for all jurisdictions are set the third Monday in August, and generally speaking, you should watch the newspaper for publication of proposed budgets and notices of budget hearings beginning in late spring or early summer.