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SCCBR Opposes Santa Cruz County, Arizona Property Tax Increase

Posted on: July 16, 2013

The Santa Cruz County Board of REALTORS® will be presenting the letter below  to the SCC Supervisors  to address the proposed increase in property taxes requested.  It is important for our members to attend the Board of Supervisors meeting tomorrow, Wednesday, July 17 at 9:30 a.m. at the Supervisors meeting room at 2150 N. Congress Drive, Nogales, Arizona:

ID-100144097

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As stewards of our communities and protectors of private property rights, the Santa Cruz County Board of REALTORS® would like to address your plan to include as part of your budget a property tax increase.  We oppose the implementation of the property tax increase as presented and request that you consider an additional review of the budget and amount of the property tax increase before you cast your vote on July 24, 2013.

Although we are starting to show signs of our local real estate market stabilizing, it is still very fragile.  Interest rates are starting to go up and not all SCC property owners were able to qualify for a reduction in their mortgage payments. In addition, the rental market is also showing signs of increases due to supply and demand, and cost of living increases such as electricity and water services are also projected to go up. Not to mention, additional college district assessments, higher insurance premiums, and now the proposed SCC property tax increase.  This has a cumulative effect that is devastating to the property owner and renter.

By not stating that the 2013-2014 tentative budget included a property tax increase the perception of Santa Cruz County residents is that the supervisors were cloaking the tax increase.  The information the public has received by the press has been confusing, inaccurate and caused a lack of trust of county officials and staff.  However, by being proactive and notifying the public when a property tax increase is being considered and explaining how property taxes are assessed on the county website you will begin to create a positive conversation.

The negative press that has been generated by this issue has further stigmatized our area to the public. We are requesting a press release by the SCC government that will explain accurate information, in simple math, of the proposed property tax increase.

We recognize that there is a cost to providing basic services to residents of Santa Cruz County and we understand that assessed values for 2013 and 2014 are expected to decrease.  However, a large increase in the primary and secondary tax rate as proposed is a hardship for many constituents and therefore unacceptable.  We ask that the Supervisors consider a more mindful escalation in the primary and secondary tax rates over a course of years.  Consider that property owners and renters need a tax relief to offset all the other expenses they are up against and do the right thing for our community.

Sincerely,

Santa Cruz County Board of REALTORS®

Candace Bell, 2013 SCCBR President

Cc:       Supervisor Rudy Molera

Supervisor John Maynard

Melinda Meek, SCC Clerk of the Board

Mayor Arturo Garino

Shane Dille, City Manager

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