Gila County Taxes - gasp!

Comments

steve bingham 2 years, 12 months ago

The Gila County taxes were issued April 15th for most residences. Even though my property valuation went DOWN 30 percent, my taxes went up 12%. Scary. It seems that Gila County can set the rate depending on what THEY need. Geeezzz. Mine went from less than $3,900 to $4,519.54! Now consider the poor struggling businessman who must pay double the rate for his commercial property. Gila County remains fat while the rest of us struggle. You see, our only line of defense is our County Representative, Tommie Cline. I am not sure how she voted, but this is scary. I suggest you check YOUR tax bill, released April 15, 2011.

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Dan Haapala 2 years, 12 months ago

Steve, I know you know this, the only way to make taxes go down is for the County to cut spending. Just like the State and the Feds. In 2004, when I ran for Dist. one., The voters were told there is a formula for figuring property tax. I couldn't find it. In 2008, when I ran, we were told that taxes went up because property values went up ( all based on the year before and the elusive formula). 2012 is right aroung the corner and I wonder what the reason will be this time.

Property values have gone down but the magic formula is not based on property values alone. The county government decides how much money it needs to continue providing the services it performs, that becomes the budget presented to the Board of Supervisors who vote on that budget and then send it to.....the Assessors office who starts using formulas to determine how to get the money.

Steve in order for them to survive, they had to raise your property tax rate. Even though your value went down, they need more money so your tax rate went up. You Sir, are but one of many.

When will Gila County Voters say enough?

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steve bingham 2 years, 12 months ago

Hi Dan,

Yep. You are absolutely correct. However, when I see other Counties surviving without sending taxes through the roof, I wonder. Basically, the County takes whatever it needs! I wonder who is watching the budget? I am not sure I can do anything about it except bitch. My taxes were sent April 15, 2011. Most of Northern Gila County haven't seen theirs yet. If you finance your home or business your first clue might occur when your impound account demands more money.

My assessed valuation was fair so I can't complain there. In short, I have no recourse other than to accept what is!

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Pat Randall 2 years, 12 months ago

Steve, What you received was a valuation on your property wasn't it? I received mine about a month ago. That gives you time to appeal before first half of taxes are due in Oct. I think it depends on what kind of day the assessor is having when they go out to assess property what price they put on it. If they keep lowering the value on my house in Mesa, they will be paying me in a few years. (: It is about the size and age of my house in Pine and the value is almost 1/2. Taxes about 1/3. I may have to sell my property in Gila county and move to Maricopa county.

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Bernice Winandy 2 years, 12 months ago

Gila County taxes are high. I had a house in Phoenix in a good neighborhood (adjacent to the North Phoenix Mountain Preserve) with more square footage of my house in Pine with a swimming pool on a lot slightly bigger than the one in Pine and you guessed it---- my taxes on that house were lower than on the house in Pine. Plus I had garbage pick up; library services and they swept the streets occasionally.

Plus I had plentiful, clean water that was reasonably priced!!!!!!!!

How does Gila County manage to spend all the money that it does and why can't the powers that be see that there are people who are really suffering in these tough financial times? They kinda remind me of Marie Antoinette who said "Let them eat cake" when she was told that the peasants have no bread.

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Tom Garrett 2 years, 12 months ago

Hi Steve,

You may already know all this, but just in case:

We are in a very special situation here in Gila County. Because so much of the land in the county is Federal, and there is so little private land on which to build, the ratio between the number of homes and businesses and the number of square miles in the county leaves us with a BIG problem. Gila County has almost as many roads to maintain, and just as many necessary services to provide, as counties with far more taxable property.

This is one reason for the higher tax rates. The same things that people move here for--open forest, views, places to hike--are the causes of their tax troubles.

I have yet to find anyone who was warned by a realtor that the house he or she was building might cost as much as four or five times as much in taxes as elsewhere. I suppose i never will, but it would be the honest thing--though not the profitable one--to do.

The Feds do help in some ways. There is fund that the county receives to defray the cost of schools, a part of which is allowed to go to road maintenance as well. If it were not for that fund your taxes would be even higher. A cause for worry is that the current cost-cutting trend in Congress might end that program.

Your rate is also dependent upon the style of your house. A plain frame house is taxed at a very different rate from a show piece, but there again I see no one warning anyone about that when he or she builds a weekend place, which might very reasonably be quite plain and still afford a good weekend experience.

Then too, there is the overhead when building in Payson, where the impact fees are very high and add a material amount to the cost of construction. Wisdom says to build in the county unless you have some specific reason for living in Payson.

I knew all this when I retired up here, so I bought an existing home in Pine, one which is quite modest, not so much in its size as in its style. It's a plain frame house painted white with green trim. I have a beautiful view in several directions, but I thought things out. Instead of sitting atop a hill and looking down at houses below; I sit on the level and look up at the trees and mountains I came here to see.

As to size, I have more usable floor space than my brother-in-law who built a showplace with 18 foot high ceilings and pays three times as much taxes as I do for a place he rarely visits because the cost of heating his place for a weekend or so is downright expensive. So there it sits, doing nothing but acting as a tax drain. And with the downturn in prices he would be lucky to get his money back out of it.

Sorry to hear you taxes are so high, Steve. Maybe you can sell without losing your shirt, buy something that will still meet your needs, and bank the difference.

A penny saved....

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Pat Randall 2 years, 12 months ago

Maybe another thing that makes our taxes high in Payson is the Town wants to be a land baron and I think every piece of land they own is taken off the tax roll. The so called Historical bldgs. also get thier taxes cut down.

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Tom Garrett 2 years, 12 months ago

You know what else may be hurting the tax rolls? The houses that went back to the bank, where the "bank" is a federal agency. As far as I know that takes the house off the tax rolls since the states cannot tax the federal government. We could be taking a big hit there. Did you read the article about Payson water use dropping because there are so many empty houses? That says a lot.

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Dan Haapala 2 years, 12 months ago

I'm just going to ask a couple of questions and see if answers come forth. What does the state law say that a County has to provide? Which departments in Gila County have been created to meet State law? Are there more than the required departments? How much of each Gila County department's budget is designated for payroll and future employee benefits? How much departmental spending goes to: transportation? equipment? authorized projects? daily duties? funding of special districts? What else?

And I guess the most important question is, what are WE willing to do without in order to bring taxes down?

A lot of gobbeldigoop will follow from big government sources but as tax payers..WE are responsible for determining when enough is enough.

Notice I didn't include anything about helping the poor and underpriviledged and disabled, That is not the County's job. I didn't include helping fund non profit organizations, that is not the County's job. My first question was " What does the state law say that a County has to provide?". What say you?

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Pat Randall 2 years, 12 months ago

Haapala; Go to Arizona Revised Statutes Title 11. It will tell you more than you ever wanted to know. How to form a county and way down at the bottom what they are supposed to do.

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Bernice Winandy 2 years, 12 months ago

Tom, your point about why don't realtors tell you about the high taxes in Gila County is interesting. However, anyone can find out about Gila County property taxes by visiting the county assessor's website. All you need to know is a parcel #.

Rather than tell people about the high property tax rate, I think reputable realtors should clearly tell people about the water problems and not use such "mental reservation" expressions as "wells need to be recharged." While this statement is very true, it does not tell you that the wells often are not recharged, and therefore, water shortages occur which necessitate "water rationing" implemented by imposing water stages. (wow what a sentence!!! seems to go on forever!!! but then its water again :-))

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Pat Randall 2 years, 12 months ago

Before everyone gets mad, I was a Realtor from 1969 untill 1993 so feel I can post this. I am happy to say I never had an upset buyer or seller. There are so many things a Realtor should tell a buyer. Most 1st, 2nd or sometimes 3rd time buyers don't have a clue. To start with, the people who bought land on the east side of Tonto Creek in Tonto Basin. How did they think that big ditch (Tonto Creek) got there if there were no floods. They have been screaming for a bridge for over 25 years. I don't feel sorry for them. The old timers are always prepared for a flood. The best way to find out anything is to go talk to neighbor without the Realtor. Taxes How would the buyer know the parcel number most don't even know there is one, or subdivision lot number. All they know is an address. Water Drainage Restrictions by town or subdivisions Home owner fees The buyer needs to see a title search. subdivision restrictions and all that up front, not at closing time when they are excited to get it done and don't read anything.

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Dan Varnes 2 years, 12 months ago

Here's a historical fact that I just read the other day: The Communist party in China acquired the majority of it's land and property by using taxation, and not by using physical force or war.

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Bernice Winandy 2 years, 12 months ago

Pat, well said. Talking to neighbors is a very good suggestion. However, aren't parcel numbers listed on the listing sheet. Having one parcel # you can usually find others because they are created consecutively something like 102-20-305; 102-20-306, etc. Now granted all of the parcels would be in the same subdivision so I guess you would have to get several listings in different subdivisions -- that is provided parcel #'s are listed on the listing. I definitely agree that the title search should be done up front. Also, aren't taxes listed on the listing sheet, too. You can also get up tax information from the county assessor by entering the owner's name. I know, I know how can you know the owner's name?????????????//

I wanted to see the results of my title search before closing because everything happens so quickly at closing and it takes me awhile to digest and understand things. When the realtor went to check, he found out that the owner of the house had passed away and the sale could not be finalized on the scheduled closing date.

New people in the area might not know about Tonto Creek. Believe me when I moved here from the East I had to have a realtor explain to me what a wash was and exactly what could happen to it in a downpour. Luckily, the realtor took the time to give a complete explanation. He also told me the correct pronounciation of Saguaro. :-)

You have lived many lives --bar owner -- realtor-- etc. I bet you enjoyed them all!

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Tom Garrett 2 years, 12 months ago

"Go to Arizona Revised Statutes Title 11. It will tell you more than you ever wanted to know. How to form a county and way down at the bottom what they are supposed to do."

Gee, Pat. I'm glad you knew the answer to that question. I sure didn't.

"And I guess the most important question is, what are WE willing to do without in order to bring taxes down?"

I know the answer to that one, Dan.

We are willing to do without anything that doesn't affect us.

I know what sounds like I am saying something that is meant to be a. funny, b. ironic, but it also touches a very real truth. Go read the Roundup article about the Payson "wish list." I think it was last Friday. When you get down toward the end of the article notice how it points out that, well, most of that will depend on grants, of course.

What am i driving at? We have become a bit tied to the apron strings of Aunt Zona and Uncle Feddy.

I'll tell you what, Dan. You might have a hard time getting a realistic answer for that one. But as you are obviously saying, that's the question we NEED to answer.

Bernice, I hear you talking! There's a little phrase in there about a there not being a "100 year water supply." What flatlander knows what that means?

Pat, when I moved up here I had the best realtor who ever lived. She worked for the outfit up in Strawberry, and she would often grab me by the shoulders and point me toward some I hadn't noticed. Gone now. Went to Nevada. Great lady.

Dan, Barry would not have been surprised by that. I wish I could quote exactly what he had to say about taxes and socialism. I've got his books. I'll look it up when I can.

Pat. You sure you're not the guy who wrote that book? You know? "I Led Three Lives." Made a nice TV program way back when. Remember it. The hero's name was Herb Philbrick.

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Pat Randall 2 years, 12 months ago

Bernice. When I started out in real estate there was one page for a listing, one page for a contract. Now there are so many pages it takes a week to read them. We would take a signed contract to our favorite title person, sit there and have a cup of coffee while they typed out the escrow papers. Now you leave the papers and never see the buyer or seller again. The agents let the title company do all the work and the buyer and seller have to go into the title co. to sign papers. We took the papers back to the buyer and/or seller and have them signed. It was so simple, and not all the lawsuits and crap they have now. Realtors do not earn thier money now ! I don't know what information is on a listing now, but not everyone would know what or where to look for anything if they had a copy of the listing. Just an address will get you most of the answers to your questions. BUT there are tax parcel numbers and subdvision lot numbers.

Yes we did a lot of things, owned a ranch west of Payson, construction contractors, egg ranch, concrete ready mix plant, built boat trailers, had a bar and restaurant. My husband also worked in the mine at Bisbee. I started out as a waitress in a restaurant my folks owned here in Payson when I was going to school. Also worked in a clothing factory in Mesa. Raised 3 kids during this time. We enjoyed all of it. For about 5 of the years we went water skiing and playing at Roosevelt Lake about 20 weekends a year until our oldest grandson started racing go karts then we spent our weekends going to races. Even to Iowa and California. He was 3rd in the national go kart races in Iowa. Grandma had to get that in. (: Then we retired and were going to have more fun. Life is what happens while you are planning for the future. Enjoy life as you go along. You may not get a chance later. My husband spent the last 3 yrs in a nursing home, not knowing anyone or being able to move.

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Tom Garrett 2 years, 11 months ago

"Life is what happens while you are planning for the future."

Amen!

"Enjoy life as you go along. You may not get a chance later."

Good advice, Pat. Great advice!

Omar Khayam (The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám) once said:

"Take the cash and let the credit go."

He meant exactly the same thing.

You sure you're not a Persian philosopher? :-)

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Tom Garrett 2 years, 11 months ago

"Life is what happens while you are planning for the future."

Amen!

"Enjoy life as you go along. You may not get a chance later."

Good advice, Pat. Great advice!

Omar Khayam (The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám) once said:

"Take the cash and let the credit go."

He meant exactly the same thing.

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Pat Randall 2 years, 11 months ago

Tom, I am not sure what I am. Mostly interested in what is going on and informing other people. To hear some of the people complain about me on here and KMOG guess I like to stir things up. Does that make me a cook?

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Tom Garrett 2 years, 11 months ago

Pat,

A cook? I guess so. People like you add spice to discussions. They also keep people honest, and that may be where some of the complaints originate. Some people just do not want to hear the truth--or have anyone else hear it. :-)

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