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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:

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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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Starting TODAY, the new revised forms for Flood Hazard Information Requests will be the only version accepted when requesting information through the Santa Cruz County Flood Control Department.

These forms have been redesigned to provide additional information when inquiring about a specific parcel of land.

As always, the form will provide informaiton on the:

  • Special Flood Hazard Area affecting the property
  • NFIP Community #
  • FIRM Map Panel #
  • Date of the FIRM Panel
  • LOMR/LOMA Date
  • Is the main structure in a high hazard Special Flood Hazard Area?
  • Is the property in a Locally Regulatory Floodplain?
  • Is the property affected by a Floodway, as mapped on the FIRM?

Additional information on the form includes:

  • Estimated Base Flood Elevation
  • Estimated Regulatory Flood Elevation
  • Is the property affected by an Erosion Hazard Setback Area.

In addition, the inquirer can request a copy of the map for the property by checking off the Map Requested Box on the form.

To obtain new flood hazard forms county and municipality requests go to:  http://www.co.santa-cruz.az.us/public_works/flood/flood-maps.html

To email the completed flood hazard request form for county or municipality:

If you need flood hazard information that same day, please go to the SCC Complex for immediate assistance.

Visit The Santa Cruz County Flood Control District 1 at their new Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/SCCFCD to get the latest updates on flood control notices

The REALTOR® ACTION CENTER posses the question; If not you, then who? As REALTORS® we must be politically active. If not, who will take on the responsibility of protecting the values and rights we hold dear?

Be assured that someone will—someone who may not value wise business planning and could threaten property owners and their rights.

If REALTORS® do not speak out, get INVOLVED and help shape the discussion, someone else will. No one knows a community better than a REALTOR®. REALTORS® know the lay of the land, the families, the best schools, the neighborhoods and the leaders of any given area. REALTORS® work in every city, county and community in the nation. REALTORS® are on the front line as defenders of real estate issues.

RPAC is the voice of REALTORS® on Capitol Hill. Since 1969 RPAC has been promoting the election of pro-REALTOR® candidates across the United States. During the last federal election cycle alone, RPAC contributed over $12 million to pro-REALTOR® candidates to Congress, making it the number one trade association political action committee in the nation. Why has RPAC been successful? Because RPAC is not a charity. RPAC is a business.

According to OPEN SECRETS, The National Association of REALTORS® is ranked 4th on the list for Top All-Time Donors (1989-2012) and contributes between 40% and 59% to both parties. In the past 20+ years, NAR has contributed $43,720,142 towards lobbying efforts.

In Arizona’s political scene, REALTORS® have long understood the importance of providing financial support for RAPAC – the REALTORS® of Arizona Political Action Committee. Because RAPAC receives such robust support from its members, it qualifies as an Arizona “Super PAC,” which allows RAPAC trustees to award financial support to candidates at a higher spending limit. RAPAC is currently one of 22 such higher participation PACs in the state.

At our local level, our Legislative Committee keeps our membership informed on local government issues. They actively represent our Association every week at our County Supervisors meetings. The committee monitors and protects public issues and helps maintain contact and opens the door for interaction and communication with our local city and county elected officials to help shape public policy that will best protect Private Property Rights.

SCCBR has recently revised our web site’s GOVERNMENT AFFAIR section. The Association is committed to being the voice in real state for Santa Cruz County. We will continue the rally to protect the AMERICAN DREAM by helping our membership and community stay informed and get involved!

Visit the Government Affairs section by clicking on the following topics:


Real estate plays an integral role in the U.S. Economy. Residential real estate provides housing for families, and is often the greatest source of wealth and savings for many of us. The National Association of Realtors® estimates that one job is generated for every two home sales. Using that ratio, 1,000 home sales generate 500 jobs. The ratio is derived from the economic impact of an existing home sale. Each home sale contributes about sixty thousand dollars to the economy or Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The Santa Cruz County Board of Realtors® is concerned with the economy and ability of our residents to have and maintain their jobs, and be a part of the “American dream” of property ownership. We have determined that by becoming more politically active, we may be able to influence the course of economic development in Santa Cruz County.

The Santa Cruz County Board of Realtors® Legislative Committee has already distributed questionnaires and will be conducting interviews of candidates for local office during the week of July 16th to determine those we believe can best represent the interests of the residents of Santa Cruz County.

A recommendation of which candidates to possibly support and/or endorse will be made to the Board of Directors at their July 24th meeting. Their decision will be released to the public after that date, prior to the Primary.

If you would like for us to ask a specific question, please post your recommendation on this blog or send an email to sccazrealtor@gmail.com.

If you haven’t heard the news…Santa Cruz County Board of REALTORS® recently won the 10th annual best web site contest for fewer than 300 members! Just another benefit of being a member for our association! Visit our web site at, www.sccazrealtor.com

This Web site gives no clues that it’s from a small association and is updated by the president and EO. From the Twitter feed and elegant mobile version to the quick MLS search and unobtrusive pop-up windows, this site has the features and functions offered by large associations.

From the judges: “I love the action of the photos on the different pages. The sunrise-to-sunrise banner is captivating! There is nothing stagnant about this Web site! Under Government Affairs, I was really drawn to the Legislators and Legislative Tracker. If I were a member and wanted to know what my representatives were up to, this is an easy resource to navigate. Good job! I was able to find a category easily, and finding out how to become a member is easy. I like the way it flows.”

REALTOR AE, Spring 2012

To read about the other associations that won the contest, visit: 2012 Web Site Contest Winners  

A meeting between Public Works staff and Board of REALTORS® members clarified Santa Cruz County’s efforts to designate dirt roads, with no homes on them and receiving no county maintenance, as primitive roads.  This allows the county to grade them once or twice a year to keep them passable without the cost and manpower involved in regular maintenance.  A Resolution requesting the designation for a number of roads in Ranchettes 17 will go before the Board of Supervisors in March and, once approved, initial maintenance can begin.  This also includes removal of “End of County Maintenance” signs and installation of “Primitive Road” signs.

Jesus Valdez, Interim Public Works Director, anticipates a second round of designations by the first of July and every 4 months thereafter until all 5 levels of road maintenance in Ranchettes 17 have received the designation and the initial maintenance.  They will then begin on Ranchettes 18, starting with the roads in the best condition and working their way through the five levels of road condition.  He is hoping the have the entire process completed in about 18 months on the east side where there are more residences and lots.  They will then address the roads on the west side of I-19.

By addressing the roads in increments, the County is hoping to be able to get all roads in Rio Rico to a passable condition.  Valdez has requested input from REALTORS® regarding roads they may deem appropriate to move up to a level that will be addressed faster.  He also mentioned that they may be able to work with property owners along a road who might be willing to pay for the gravel and/or chip seal  to upgrade the road if the county road department does the labor.  Such a Public/Private Partnership would benefit both the residents, making the road better, and the County, requiring less future maintenance.

The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to post the call for bids to construct the Palo Parado Bridge at their regular meeting on January 18, 2012.  There will be 6 weeks for companies to respond to the request and an additional 2 to 4 weeks for staff to determine if the bid complies with the specifications in the bid document.

It is anticipated that the contract will be awarded by mid-April.  The road will be closed for 12 to 18 months for the construction, but the inconvenience will be rewarded by shorter commute times, reduced fuel use resulting in cost savings for drivers and a reduction in time, fuel and wages for the Santa Cruz Valley USD #35 school buses.  Students will also better spend their time doing homework or sports, rather than time on the bus.


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