The Coconino County Board of Supervisors tentatively adopted the county’s $181.5 million fiscal year 2013 budget during its public meeting June 19.
The board is scheduled to adopt a final version of the budget July 10, with the final tax rates being set Aug. 7.
“The budget adopted is a win-win,” said Carl Taylor, chairman of the board. “The county was able to address some critical funding issues, while not increasing property taxes.
“While the county continues to see a loss of revenue from the state and federal governments, we were remaining focused on seeking responsible solutions to these issues.”
The adopted budget includes no increase in the county’s primary property tax levy.
Due to declining assessment values on most properties, there will be a decrease in secondary property taxes for most county taxpayers. An example of a secondary property tax is the Flood Control District.
Overall county property tax levies (primary plus secondary taxes) have decreased between by more than $500,000 across the county between the current budget and the tentative one.
This means a majority of taxpayers will see a lower county portion on their overall tax bill. Taxpayers could see a $10 decrease for a home assessed at $300,000.
As a result of the action by the board the county is not required to hold a Truth in Taxation hearing, as defined in Arizona statutes.
The county will remain among the lowest one-third of the state’s counties with the smallest primary and secondary property taxes, and is expected to have one of the lowest primary property tax rates in the state.
Each year, the board begins the budget process by holding a series of departmental meetings to review funding requests, discuss programs and set tax rates for the next fiscal year. During recent meetings, staff raised growing concerns about targeting staff compensation and infrastructure needs to facilities, and information technology for the upcoming fiscal year.
The adopted budget implements an additional component of the County’s Classification and Compensation Plan, which will target costly and unsustainable turnover and provide funding for facility and information technology upgrades.
“Investing in our employees and our infrastructure is a necessary step to maintaining a healthy organization,” said Mike Townsend, interim county manager. “These challenges in our organization were created over a series of years and will take years to fix, but this adopted budget is a key step to getting where we need to be.”
This information was provided by Coconino County.
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