Pima County Assessor Office in Tucson AZ
Property Tax Update Process
The Pima County Assessor doesn’t create property’s values. Consumers do. Comsumers determine the value based on what they pay for a Tucson home.
The Pima County Assessor has the obligation to analyze those transactions and appraise property. It determines the cash value of all property as of January 1 of the following year. The calculations used by the Pima County Assessor based on manuals and procedures dictated by the department of revenue.
The fact is, a prescribed “assessment year” isn’t a year at all. It is actually longer. Especially for Tucson home values. To review the year-specific valuation timelines go to the Pima County Assessor office website – Notice Information page.
It Takes Time
From the beginning of the data gathering to the mailing of tax bills takes roughly four and a half years. This timeline is set by Arizona Revised Statues and the Arizona Department of Revenue.
The majority of the Pima County Assessor’s effort is absorbed with the collection of sales affidavit data from Pima County Records. When Tucson homes are sold the transaction is filed with the Pima County Recorder. That data is used by the Pima County Assessor.
The Tucson home prices actually paid reflect the value of all the real estate in the area. Needless to say, market fluctuations cause values go up and down.
Usually, real property tends to appreciate in value. However, in a downturn, when the housing market and full cash values will drop.
When that happens, a constant question by home owners is why don’t full cash values on the valuation notice reflect current real estate prices?
Part of the answer is the length of the process. Two and a half years are required to collect sales data. Subsequently, 4 more months of analysis is done. After that, notices will be sent to homeowners.
Arizona is Unique
The State of Arizona is unique in that it uses two types of property values for Pima County property tax purposes. The Pima County Assessor must calculate both.
1) Full cash value is the value placed on the exact property by the Assessor.
2) Limited value is determined by applying a statutory formula for a specific tax year.
It is interesting to note that the calculation of the limited value may increase the limited value even though the full cash value decreases. The limited value rises each year until it equals the full cash value.
The assessed value derived from the limited value is the basis for computing primary taxes for the maintenance and operation of school districts, cities, community college districts, counties, and the state.
The assessed value derived from the full cash value is the basis for computing secondary taxes for bonds, budget overrides, and special districts, such as fire, flood control, and other limited purpose districts.
The Pima County Assessor office provides an appeals process for Pima County homeowners.
OK, so that is TMI regarding how the Pima County Assessor determines property tax values. However, it is something many of our Tucson Real Estate clients want to know.
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