I see I struck a raw nerve with a very defensive government bureaucrat, Pamela Pearsall, from the Yavapai County Assessor's Office.
If Ms. Pearsall had actually read my letter, she would have noticed that I said, "A prime example of just one of the reasons...," and did not assert that the only reason Arizona racetracks have disappeared was due to the YCAO. The facts I quoted came from an article in the June 4 issue of "The Blood-Horse" (a nationally distributed magazine based in Lexington, Ky.), entitled, "Yavapai Downs Cancels 2011 Meet, Hopes for Return Next Year." If Ms. Pearsall disputes their property tax figures, she should address her lament directly to that magazine. The Blood-Horse is a highly respected magazine that has been in business for many decades, and their research has been impeccable.
In their article, The Blood-Horse stated that in 2010, Yavapai Downs was re-assessed as a commercial rather than a non-profit agricultural entity; the article further noted Yavapai Downs' other financial problems as well. The magazine stated that the YCAO originally changed Yavapai Downs' annual property tax from $30,000 to $349,000, and only subsequently dropped that assessment by $90,000. Now my math tells me that $349,000 less the $90,000 reduction still leaves the racetrack owing $259,000 in annual property taxes, not $90,000 plus or minus as Ms. Pearsall asserts. So who is telling the truth here, the YCAO or The Blood-Horse? In "racetrack parlance," my money's on the magazine! Ms. Pearsall needs to re-check her records and clarify this.
In addition, Ms. Pearsall obviously did not comprehend the import of my letter, which was the sad loss of statewide horse racing in Arizona, to which her office obviously contributed. Only a government bureaucrat would try to defend an exorbitant property tax - of any kind, for any reason - by deflecting attention to other factors/influences. This practice is called "obfuscation," and it's been practiced ad infinitum by all politicians and bureaucrats in the United States government in order to justify and absolve themselves from responsibility for charging taxpayers all over this country confiscatory taxes.
I'm afraid I am not moved by Ms. Pearsall's statement that "... the taxpayers will ultimately be the loser if this property" (meaning Yavapai Downs, of course), defaults to Coconino County, Yavapai County ..." Which taxpayers, Ms. Pearsall? The taxpayers who pay your sky-high taxes, along with your salary, or the 'taxpayers' who receive government "benefits?" I contend it is the former, not the latter.
Jan E. Freeman