2015-16 Scottsdale property tax levy passes unanimously

The Scottsdale City Council voted 7-0 to approve the levy for fiscal year 2015-16 on Wednesday, June 3, after the meeting scheduled for Tuesday, June 2, was recessed due to a medical emergency, the city council agenda stated.

During Tuesday’s meeting, city manager Fritz Behring was hospitalized for a medical condition related to a surgery he had last year. His prognosis is positive, according to a June 3 statement from the city of Scottsdale.

The remaining items on the council agenda, including the property tax levy, were moved to Wednesday.

The approved property tax rate, which is lower than the previous fiscal year, will go into effect on June 23.

The 2015-16 tax rate is a combined $1.1537 per $100 of assessed value, according to a document provided by the city council online. The combined rate is below the limit of $1.50, a financial policy which is set by the city.  In the fiscal year of 2014-15 the rate was $1.2449, about nine cents higher than next year, records show.

If a property is valued at $100,000, the property owner will owe approximately $115.37 in property taxes next fiscal year. According to the document, property value is determined by the Maricopa County Assessor’s Office.

The property tax is broken up into primary and secondary levies. The primary property tax levy, also known as the General Fund and self-insurance fund revenue, supports the police department, fire protection and the operation and maintenance of parks and libraries.

The 2015-16 property tax levy is a decrease of $500,000 from last year. The secondary levy is also known as the unlimited tax levy, which means the municipality can levy whatever amount it needs to in order to pay general obligation debt. Although the levy is seemingly unlimited, the Arizona Constitution can limit the issuance of new bonds.

The 2015-16 secondary tax is over $3.3 million lower than the 2014-15 secondary tax. Last year the rate was $0.6869 while the proposed rate is $0.6244, according to the document.

All of the proposed $32,227,765 secondary property tax revenue will go to the Debt Service Fund.

“About 14 cents of every dollar in property taxes paid by Scottsdale property owners goes to city government and city General Obligation debt repayment, and the remainder goes to public schools, the county, community colleges and various special districts,” the city staff report states.

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