Supervisors set tax rates

The primary property tax rate for Mohave County government will stay the same at $1.75 per $100 in assessed valuation, but rates for other taxing agencies are either up or down.

The county supervisors approved the new tax rates during a brief meeting Monday.

The county serves as the tax collection agency for flood control and other county districts and other taxing entities, such as school districts.

The supervisors did not raise property taxes because they deadlocked on voting for the increase when they adopted a $150 million final budget for 2001-2002 Aug.

6.

The county is expected to collect more than $17 million in property taxes for the fiscal year - which started July 1 - and place the revenues in the general fund.

Many of the taxing entities raised or lowered their rates by a few cents for every $100 in assessed valuation, Financial Services Director Duc Ma said.

He explained some revisions came about because of changes in bond payments and operating budgets for school, fire and other special districts.

Secondary tax rates are largely bond-related, he said.

However, the countywide flood control (50 cents per $100 in assessed valuation) and library (32.36 cents) districts have secondary rates that are not bond-related.

The secondary rate for the library district is going up 2.5 cents for $100 in assessed valuation, Library Director Bonnie Campbell said.

She estimated that the increase would raise about $100,000 and restore the book budget to $250,000.

"We were concerned that our collection was falling behind in quality as compared to other libraries," Campbell said after the meeting.

The supervisors previously cut about $100,000 from the library budget to pay for other services, District 1 Supervisor Pete Byers said.

"That left the book budget short," he said.

"They have not bought any books for some time."

Byers voted along with District 2 Supervisor Tom Sockwell and District 3 Supervisor Buster Johnson (who attended the meeting via a conference call).

Also during the meeting, Fort Mojave resident Alex Cariaga spoke against raising taxes and argued instead in favor of imposing impact fees on developers.

"You guys are always taking the easy way out," said Cariaga, who is retired from General Motors.

"You should take a hard decision."

Contacted after the meeting, Byers said he would oppose impact fees, which puts him at odds with Johnson.

Byers said he doubts the fees would generate $4 million a year anticipated from a quarter-percent increase in the sales tax and raising property taxes by 21.94 cents per $100 in assessed valuation.

"Impact fees stop growth," he said.

"The idea is great, but it doesn't work."

Examples of new tax rates are:

• 93.98 cents per $100 for Mohave Community College

• $4.2378 for the newly formed Kingman Unified School District

• $4.3878 for Hackberry Elementary

• $3 for the Chloride Fire District

• $2.95 for the Hualapai Valley Fire District

• $2.50 for the Golden Valley Fire District