It is understandable that few citizens are familiar with the functions of the Gila County treasurer’s office. Arizona Revised Statutes require public entities (cities, towns, county governments, school districts, community colleges, sewer, fire districts, etc.) to maintain their bank accounts (with few exceptions) with the county treasurer. The revenue for these entities — property taxes, sales taxes, state aid, etc. — must be deposited with the county treasurer. Entities then submit expense vouchers to the treasurer, who in turn prints check payments to be distributed to the entities’ vendors.
Property tax bills prepared by the Gila County Treasurer Debora Savage for these entities are historically distributed to property owners in early September with a Nov. 1 final due date. To date, these property tax bills have not been prepared due to problems implementing computer software for a new treasurer accounting system.
This project has been ongoing for almost two years. When will it be completed?
Meanwhile, the lack of revenue for all of these entities from property taxes will and is creating financial hardship. Most of the seven school districts in Gila County rely heavily on property taxes to deliver their services. Most entities have bank credit lines, but if they become exhausted, they will have trouble making payroll and paying their bills.
In addition, they will incur interest expense from the use of their credit lines. Will the Gila County treasurer pay for this expense due to the tardiness in the preparation of property tax bills?
Whenever the property tax bills do hit the street, responsible property owners and mortgage holders should pay the bills upon receipt and not wait until a final due date. This way, public entities affected will be able to maintain their services with minimal disruption and increased cost.