You recently should have received your 2012 property valuations from the Gila County Assessor’s Office.
You probably saw a decrease in your property valuation from 2011 as a result of the decline in real estate values.
The assessor’s job is not an easy task, as each year they must reassess the value of every property in Gila County to assure that property taxes are levied fairly.
The assessment ratios remained unchanged from 2011.
Homes will remain at a 10 percent ration, vacant land at 16 percent and commercial property at 20 percent.
What that means is that if a commercial property is valued the same as a residential property, the commercial property owner will pay twice the property tax of a homeowner.
The state has been lowering the commercial ratio over the last several years.
In prior years, commercial property owners paid almost two and a half times as much as a homeowner.
It is my understanding that the Legislature recently passed HB 2001 which will further lower the burden on commercial properties.
In addition, homeowners in 2012 may have to file for an exemption that was automatic in previous years.
The filing will apprise the assessor as to which properties are primary residences.
The new legislative bill is 214 pages long and we will report the changes in future articles as the details are deciphered.
Many homeowners have converted their primary residences to rental property.
You are required to report that change to the county assessor’s office.
For failure to report, you could be assessed a civil penalty of $150 per day for each day of violation after the most recent notice of assessed valuation.
One misconception raised by many homeowners is: “The valuation of my home went down, but my property taxes did not decrease. How come?”
The reason is that the county supervisors adjust the tax rate every year to assure that the county receives adequate funds to continue operations.
A decrease in property valuation does not equal a decrease in taxes.
If you feel your property has not been fairly valued, you may file an appeal with the county assessor’s office.
The deadline to file the appeal will be on your notice of valuation.
In my experience, the assessor’s office is consumer friendly and fair.
If you call, they will take the time to explain and answer your questions.
In addition, they are willing to make adjustments to your property’s valuation if you can supply documentation to substantiate a change in value.
Ray Pugel is a designated broker with Coldwell Banker Bishop Realty. Contact him at (928) 474-2216.