Queen Creek council to vote June 3 on proposed 2015-16 budget

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The planned adoption of the Town of Queen Creek’s 2015-16 budget and the legally required public hearing on the budget and proposed property tax levy are scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 3, at Queen Creek Town Hall, 22350 S. Ellsworth Road.

Residents who would like more information are encouraged to attend the public hearing or contact the town of Queen Creek Budget Division at 480-358-3184.

The town of Queen Creek is publishing a Truth in Taxation notice as required by Arizona state law, explaining changes in the amount of property taxes collected. The notice deals only with the primary property taxes, which are designated for public safety, which includes fire, police and emergency medical services, according to a press release.

Increased home values, in addition to growth the town has experienced in the residential and commercial sector, will lead to an increase in the overall property tax revenues received by the town, according to the release.

Arizona has a two-tiered property tax system. Primary, or “limited,” property taxes pay for government operations, and secondary, or “unlimited,” property taxes pay for voter-approved bonds that fund construction of public facilities and infrastructure, according to the release.

Excluding special taxing districts, property owners in the town of Queen Creek pay approximately 19 cents for every dollar in property taxes to the town. The remaining 81 cents goes to public schools, community colleges and Maricopa or Pinal county.

In 2007, the residents of Queen Creek voted to approve a “limited” property tax of $1.95 per $100 of home value to pay for public safety. Funds raised by the property tax help pay for the Queen Creek’s two fire stations and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s contract for law enforcement in the community.

For the next fiscal year, the town is expected to raise an additional $365,000 in primary property taxes. The increase in county-appraised home values accounts for $136,000 of the increase; new construction accounts for the remaining $229,000. The property tax rate will remain at $1.95 per $100 of assessed value (unchanged from past years), but as homes are assessed at a higher value, residents can expect to pay additional property taxes. The additional funds received by the Town will be used to pay for a portion of the contract with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the operations of the Queen Creek Fire and Medical Department.

During the Great Recession the town experienced a one-third decline in property tax revenue, according to the release. Unlike many communities and tax districts that had a “floating” tax rate, the town’s property tax revenue declined considerably because Queen Creek has a fixed property tax rate of $1.95 per $100 of value.

At the peak of the community’s growth — 2009-10 — the Town generated $5.6 million in primary property tax revenue. For the 2015-16 budget, the town is projecting $4.8 million of primary property tax revenue. While the property tax rate of $1.95 remains unchanged, the appreciation in real estate values (exclusive of new construction) will generate $136,000 more property tax, triggering the state’s Truth in Taxation requirements.

For more information, visit the town’s website.

The Queen Creek Independent is mailed each month to 35,000 homes.

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