Arizona Property Taxes
Overview of Arizona Property Taxes
Unless exempted under the Arizona Constitution's provisions, each homeowner in Arizona is required to pay property taxes every year. Arizona property taxes form the bulk of the local governments' budget, funding government bodies/services like municipalities, school districts, garbage collection, road maintenance, and fire services. The state and its local governments collect $52 billion in revenue every year and $7.7 billion from property taxes. Subsequently, property taxes make up 14.7% of the total revenue collected by the state.
Arizona's property tax rates are some of the lowest in the country. Homeowners pay 0.75% of their home value in property taxes or $7.49 for every $1,000 in home value. The average home value in Arizona is $214,099, but that figure varies across counties. In Apache County, for instance, the average home value is $146,842. On average, homeowners in Apache pay $270 or $1.80 per $1000 of home value in property taxes.
Arizona residents are assessed annually by the County Assessor. The Assessor's office is tasked with identifying all taxable property within their jurisdiction and establishing a value to those properties. Homeowners who disagree with the Assessor can appeal their property taxes. However, the appeal only applies to the assessment and not the tax rate.
That aside, Arizona property taxes are not based on your home's full cash value. Instead, the taxing authorities use the Limited Property Value (LPV), which should not exceed your home's cash value. In 2012, a law was enacted in Arizona, capping the LPV increase to 5% per year. The law shields homeowners from sharp increases in Arizona property taxes. Property taxes apply to your home's assessed value, which equals 10% of the LPV. Arizona property tax rates are calculated annually according to the budgetary needs of local government entities. Subsequently, the rates can fluctuate from year to year.
Additionally, Arizona property tax rates are categorized into primary and secondary tax rates. The type of tax rate you pay depends on several factors, including the city, county, and school district where your home is located. Most Arizona residents pay the primary tax rate, which funds school districts and municipalities. Secondary tax rates, on the other hand, fund special districts and bond issues.
If you are planning to buy a home in Arizona and want to understand how much your property tax bill could potentially cost, check out our Arizona Property Tax Tool to see what your bill would be.
Arizona Property Tax Due Dates
The County Assessor's office assesses properties in Arizona as of January 1, which is also when the property's value is determined. The Arizona property tax statements are mailed to homeowners in September. It is noteworthy that the County Treasurer sends you a tax statement as a courtesy and not an obligation from the state. Failure to receive the tax statement doesn't exempt you from paying property taxes. If you don't receive your tax bill statement by October 15, you must consult your local Treasurer's office.
When are property taxes due in Arizona? The state allows homeowners to pay their property taxes in two installments. The first installment is due by October 1 of the current tax year, with the second payable by March 1 of the subsequent tax year. Homeowners receive tax statements for the current year, meaning property taxes are paid in arrears. The first and second installments of Arizona property taxes become delinquent by November 1 and May 1. The taxing authorities do not send you a reminder to pay your second installment taxes. However, you have an option to pay your property taxes in a single installment, with the deadline set on December 31. If the deadline falls on a weekend or a legal holiday, it is pushed to the next business day.
Failure to comply with Arizona's property taxes due dates results in an interest of 1.3% per month. If the tax bill remains unsettled after 13 months, it results in a 5% or $5.00 advertisement fee. The state allows the County Treasurer's office to initiate a tax sale to recover the arrears if they remain unpaid after 16 months. After the tax sale, the homeowner has a three-year "redemption period" in which they should pay all the due Arizona property taxes and accrued interests and penalties. If the tax lien remains unredeemed after the three years, the homeowner risks losing their home altogether.
Arizona Property Tax Exemptions
The state of Arizona provides tax exemptions in varying amounts to homeowners who meet the criteria. These exemptions can potentially save homeowners on Arizona property taxes. They include the senior and homestead exemptions. While the exemptions relieve eligible homeowners of some of the property tax burden, they are still subject to Arizona property tax due dates.
Arizona Homestead Exemption
Unlike the case with other states, the homestead exemption does not relieve homeowners of their Arizona property taxes obligation. Instead, the exemption protects the home in case of bankruptcy. Subsequently, it doesn't have an impact on property tax accumulation.
Arizona Senior Citizens Exemption
The senior exemption allows eligible older adults to lower their Arizona property tax bill significantly. To qualify, they must be at least 65 years. They must also own the home and lived in it for at least two years. If the senior resident is a single owner, their annual income must not exceed $35,184 or $43,980 if they are two or more owners. Eligible parties must apply with their local County Assessor by September 1.
Other Arizona property tax exemptions include the disabled exemption. Eligible homeowners have to be permanently disabled and unable to engage in any meaningful activity. The disability must be certified by an Arizona licensed physician. Additionally, their total household income must not exceed $32,447. Applications can be obtained from the local County Assessor's offices. More details regarding exemptions can be sought from the Arizona Department of Revenue.
How to Appeal Your Property Taxes in Arizona
The state of Arizona allows you to dispute the County Assessor's valuation of your home and potentially lower your Arizona property taxes. Your home's assessment is denoted as "Full Cash Value" in your tax statement. There are two methods to appeal your Arizona property taxes, namely administrative and judicial methods. The administrative appeal petition is filed with the County Assessor where your property is located. The judicial process involves filing a petition directly with the Tax Court no later than December 15. You can also file an appeal with your local County Board of Equalization. Note that you can altogether bypass the Board and appeal directly to the Tax Court within 60 days of receiving the Assessor's decision.
The process of filing an assessment appeal varies across Arizona though it generally follows the same steps from county to county:
- Obtain your assessment
- Determine if you are overassessed
- Complete forms needed to appeal
- File property tax appeal
- Prepare for hearing
- Attend hearing
- Appeal the decision
How to Appeal Your Property Taxes in Maricopa County
For a better demonstration of how to appeal your property taxes in Arizona, here is a breakdown of the process in Maricopa County, the most populous county in Arizona.
Obtain your assessment
Your assessment details can be obtained from your Notice of Valuation. Alternatively, you can visit the Maricopa County Assessor's Office or their website.
Determine if you are over-assessed
A successful property tax appeal requires you to provide evidence showing that the County Assessor over-valued your property. Tax Proper's search tool or a website like Zillow can help you search and determine the selling value of homes with a similar profile to yours.
Complete forms needed to appeal
If you are a homeowner in Maricopa County, you can obtain all the forms needed to appeal property taxes from Maricopa County Assessor's website.
File property tax appeal
You can file your property tax appeal directly with the Maricopa County Assessor's Office. It is noteworthy that the office does not accept fax, email, or letters in place of the appeal forms. If you wish to file electronically, you can use Maricopa County Assessor's website.
Prepare for hearing
To successfully appeal your property taxes, you need solid proof disputing the County Assessor's valuation of your property. This can include the full cash value for at least one similar property within the location of your home. Note that the Assessor can reject your petition if it does not meet the statutory requirements.
If unsatisfied with the Assessor's decision on your petition, you can file another appeal with the Maricopa County Board of Equalization or the Arizona State Board of Equalization within 25 days of receiving the Assessor's decision. Written evidence is accepted, but a physical appearance or oral testimony is not required.
Appeal the decision
As a last resort, you can appeal the decision by the COE or SBOE to the Tax Court. If you had not initiated the administrative appeal process, you could file directly with the Tax Court on or before December 15 of the valuation year.
Property Tax Information for Arizona Counties
The table below provides county-level information about how property taxes work in each Arizona county.
Want to learn more? Click the county links to learn more about a specific Arizona county.
|County||Average Home Value||Average Tax Bill||Bill per $1,000|
|La Paz County||$116,111||$640||$5.50|
|Santa Cruz County||$185,050||$1,395||$7.50|