County not raising taxes but has to hold "truth" hearing

Mohave County government has no plans to increase the primary property tax rate of $1.75 per $100 in assessed valuation.

However, county officials are required by state law to conduct a public "truth in taxation" hearing because they expect property tax revenues to increase in 2003 as land increases in value.

County officials published a legal notice and issued a press release to let the public know the hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m.

Aug.

4 in the Jeffrey S.

Johnson Building, 809 E.

Beale St.

Property tax revenue, excluding from new construction, has been projected to increase $968,731, or more than 4.8 percent, for 2003, according to the notice.

The revenue would have been the same had the county supervisors reduced the primary property tax rate to $1.69 per $100 in assessed valuation, chief Deputy Assessor Ron Nicholson said.

District 1 Supervisor Pete Byers said he sees no reason to reduce the primary rate because the county would not be able to keep up with the demands of population growth.

During the past several years the supervisors have resisted proposals to increase property taxes.

Byers described the hearing as a formality, and he and Finance Director John Timko said they consider truth in taxation a misnomer.

"The theory is that I should not collect any more money this year than I did last year," Timko said.

"It does not make any sense.

We have to do this (hearing) once a year."

Byers said he expects at least one county resident to speak up during the hearing.

"There is always somebody" who does so, he said.

"They don't want to listen."

Assessed valuation in the county, including new construction, comes to almost $1.2 billion this year, an increase of 11 percent over 2002, Nicholson said.

He said new construction accounted for $34 million of the total in 2002 and $103 million this year.

"New construction is really an addition to the tax base, whereas when we are talking about the other (under truth in taxation) we are talking about inflation," Nicholson said.

The county has about 240,000 parcels.

The assessed value for commercial property is 25 percent of the full-cash value and the assessed value for residential property is 10 percent.