Property valuations go up for most Tucson-area homeowners

2014-02-03T00:00:00Z 2014-02-03T11:16:09Z Property valuations go up for most Tucson-area homeownersBy Joe Ferguson Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

New property-valuation notices that began appearing in area mailboxes last week are another sign that the local housing market is beginning to regain its value.

A majority of homeowners will find that the value of their homes has increased from last year, some seeing double-digit increases. The values are derived largely from sales in 2013.

Only a single residential economic district of the 22 tracked by the Pima County Assessor’s Office — the town of Ajo — saw a slight drop in its median valuation. Home values in that area dropped by 3 percent.

An Assessor’s Office analysis of median valuations by area suggests areas worst hit by the economic downturn are recovering the fastest.

South Tucson and the area near Tucson International Airport saw the largest year-over-year increase at 19 percent, and the Midvale/Drexel Heights area valuations were up by 18 percent.

Home values in Marana/Avra Valley are up by 13 percent.

But it is too early to tell whether the increases in property valuations will translate to a similar increase in tax bills.

The Assessor’s Office sets the total assessed valuation on both commercial and residential properties in time for spring budget hearings held by school districts, the county, the city and other special taxing districts.

Tax bills to be sent out this fall reflect valuation notices received last year. This month’s assessments won’t be reflected in tax bills until the fall of 2015.

Property owners should be aware of an important change in state law.

Proposition 117, approved by voters in 2012, caps the limited property value and limits annual increases to 5 percent each year.

A $100,000 South Tucson house, for example, might have seen its valuation increase to $119,000 this year but its limited value would be capped at $105,000, according to county officials.

Homeowners have until April 1 to appeal their full cash valuation.

For information about appealing a valuation, property owners can visit the assessor’s website at www.asr.pima.gov.

Contact reporter Joe Ferguson at jferguson@azstarnet.com or 573-4346. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFerguson.

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