Scottsdale OKs streetlight property tax levy

Scottsdale City Council voted to adopt Ordinance No. 4259, fiscal year 2016-18 streetlight property tax levy.

The city’s streetlight improvement districts were established beginning in 1971 to allow taxpayers residing in the benefiting area to pay for the operation of the streetlights. The city currently has 355 streetlight improvement districts formed by petition of the property owners for the sole purpose of purchasing electricity for the lighting of public streets.

Arizona Revised Statutes requires that the city council annually adopt an ordinance levying a Special Taxing District property tax in an amount sufficient to pay the expense of operating each of the streetlight improvement districts located throughout the city.

The ordinance is then transmitted to the Maricopa County Assessor who will add the required amounts to the property taxes to each district. The levy amounts, when collected by Maricopa County, are remitted separately to the city and are used to pay utility bills for the streetlight improvement districts.

The proposed streetlight property tax levy for fiscal year 2016-17 is $601,736.

The cost of operating each district varies based on the cost of electricity, usage and number of streetlights. Electrical services are provided by either Salt River Project or Arizona Public Service, each assessing varying rates.

As a result, the property taxes levied may differ from each district. Therefore, 355 separate property tax calculations are required, representing approximately 33,750 properties.

Councilwoman Virginia Korte made a motion to adopt the ordinance. Councilwoman Suzanne Klapp seconded the motion, which carried 7-0.

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