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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Sep 12, 2014

The latest property tax bills have been released for Maricopa County and the majority of its residents should be expecting an increase on what they owe this year.

A 5.4 percent increase across property taxes has been levied for 2014, a statistic released by the Maricopa County treasurer. The current rate on property tax stems from valuations made earlier in 2012, a period when home prices began to rebound following the crash.

Analysts remind us that higher property valuations don’t always translate to higher taxes. As a homeowner, your individual tax bills can significantly vary from one to another – even bills between adjacent neighborhoods as a result of differences in taxing districts and other tax rates.

The housing crisis brought about many changes to the property values across the US. Property values were hit hard in Maricopa County, falling more than 52 percent during this period – property taxes dropped an average of 15 percent between 2008 and 2013 as government entities raises the tax rate to accommodate for any shortfalls in budget.

The largest beneficiary of Arizona property tax is far and away local schools, who take in nearly 56 percent of the average homeowner’s bill. It is presently difficult for state legislators to make differences in property taxes without cutting into school budgets already stretched to their limit. Altogether, Maricopa County’s 2014 tax bill held property owners financially responsible for $4.2 billion, a figure markedly higher than $3.9 billion the previous year.

This February will see the release of the next round of annual property valuations by the Maricopa County assessor. The tax bill will lag behind these valuations by about 18 months in order for property owners to potentially appeal valuations they deem too high. Property owners are legally able to appeal their valuations, but cannot appeal their owed property taxes.