Can Payson Become A Prescott Valley?

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A buzz line you sometimes hear in Payson is, “We don’t want Payson to become a Prescott Valley.”

With that in mind, it was time to do a little research on real estate demographics to see if that could happen.

The market area — Payson has a market area population of about 35,000. The primary market target area for Payson is the population located within a 20- to 30-mile range from the town center.

Prescott Valley currently has a market area of 120,000.

At total build out, the estimates for Payson’s market area is around 65,000, which is about half of where Prescott Valley is today. Population of Payson in 2007 was 16,742 compared to 38,357 for Prescott Valley.

Land Mass — The town of Payson encompasses 19.5 square miles of land, some of which is national forest.

Payson is an island in the Tonto National Forest, which makes it prohibitive to expand its boundaries.

Prescott Valley currently has a land mass of 37.5 square miles (almost twice Payson’s size) and is adjacent to national forest and state-owned lands that will allow for easier expansion of its boundaries. Additionally, Prescott Valley is adjacent to Prescott.

In the city of Prescott, there are 38.4 square miles of land for a total amount between the two municipalities of 75.9 square miles.

Property Tax Rates — The property tax rates in Prescott Valley for the year 2007 were $8 per thousand compared to Payson’s $10.15 per thousand.

Therefore, the property taxes in Prescott Valley are a little more than 21 percent less than Payson’s.

The lower tax rate is most likely due to the contributions from higher industrial and commercial activity supplementing the need to tax residents at a higher level.

Traffic — Looking at the Arizona Department of Transportation’s traffic studies for 2007, we found the following traffic counts: From Main Street to Highway 260 in Payson, we averaged 26,100 vehicles a day. From Highway 260 to Houston Mesa Road we averaged 23,000 and from Highway 87 to Granite Dells Road we averaged a daily traffic count of 19,200.

Prescott Valley from Robert Road to Glassford Hill Road averaged 39,200 vehicles per day.

Demographics — According to the 2000 census, the median age in Payson is 48.9 years compared to 37.3 years in Prescott Valley. Residents who are 65 and older account for 29.2 percent of our population compared to 17.2 percent in Prescott Valley. Household income is about on par. Median income in Payson is $33,638 to Prescott Valley’s $34,341. Our civilian labor force in 2007 was 5,988 compared to their labor force of 13,801.

As Sgt. Friday used to say on the TV show “Dragnet,” these are “just the facts,” so you may draw your own conclusions.

Ray Pugel is a designated broker for Coldwell Banker Bishop Realty. Contact him at (928) 474-216.

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