What's Up?

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Q: The Roundup story on the county budget said property taxes are not going up. But they are going up -- they're just going up through the back door with increases in valuation. My property taxes are going up $125 a year because of increased valuation. Why don't you expose the lie?

A: Assessed value of property is based on sales in any given neighborhood, according to officials in the Gila County assessor's office. If an assessment goes up, it is generally because neighboring properties are selling for more.

"We actually look at the property and do a market analysis," said Larry Huffer, chief appraiser for Gila County.

The county sends property owners a Residential Notice of Value each spring and residents have the right to appeal their assessment within a certain time period. There were 280 appeals made this year, with 220 of those coming from northern Gila County.

County officials said the notice of value received this year is for the 2004 tax year, and the tax rates for that year have not been set. The rates for the 2003 year will be set Aug. 18, according to Dist. 1 Supervisor Ron Christensen.

Call 474-5251, ext. 147, to reach Roundup's What's Up? line. Leave your question on the answering machine and we'll try to find the answer.

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