Most Pima County homeowners will see a hike in their property tax bills this year — the first real increase from the county in about three years.
The Board of Supervisors set the county’s combined tax rate at $5.76 per $100 of the assessed valuation in a 3-2 vote Monday, an increase of about 12 percent from last year.
In addition to setting county rates, the supervisors approved tax rates set by dozens of municipalities, school boards, fire district boards and other special taxing districts.
In previous years, tax rate increases were offset by decreases in property values. But this year the county hike, as well as increases approved by a number of school and fire districts, means bills will be higher.
Supervisors Ally Miller and Ray Carroll voted against the increase.
The pocketbook impact of the new rates will vary widely, depending which school district the property is in and whether it is an incorporated municipality.
For instance, the owner of a $150,000 house in Tucson and the Tucson Unified School District can expect to pay, on average, an extra $123 next year.
The same house in Sahuarita and its school district and the Green Valley Fire District will likely see an average increase of $216. On the north side, in unincorporated Pima County, a $150,000 house in the Amphitheater school and Northwest Fire districts can expect to pay $75 more.
At the other end of the spectrum, in South Tucson, where homes are more modestly priced, the owners of an $89,000 home could see their tax bill go down by $172 next year, after that city’s secondary property tax was declared illegal — although city officials have said they will have to make up for the loss by raising fees and taxes in other ways.
Some of the smaller fire districts had the highest increases, with Mountain Vista posting a 33 percent increase and Tanque Verde Valley signing off on a 41 percent increase.
Among school districts, some of the largest increases in combined rates were in Ajo, with a 25 percent hike, Sunnyside, 21 percent, and Sahuarita, 10 percent.
County residents hadn’t experienced much of an increase in recent years because the county relied on its year-ending fund balance to cover the loss of property tax revenues and to pay for cost overruns for indigent defense and the Sheriff’s Department.
But the fund balance dwindled from $78 million in 2011-12 to $35.2 million this year, which led to the tax increase, officials said.