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Supervisors Adopt “steady-as-you-go” $2.31 billion budget”

Supervisors Adopt “steady-as-you-go” $2.31 billion budget” for FY2013

Maricopa County Supervisors have approved a $2.31 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. It is a budget that maintains current service levels, envisions no employee layoffs or downsizing, but offers no employee pay raises either. The supervisors adopted the budget Monday in an unanimous vote.

The FY 2013 Budget represents a $38 million cut in taxes than the current fiscal year.

Economic forecasts remain pessimistic in the Valley, county officials said. Revenues from sales and jail taxes are anticipated to be slightly higher next year, while vehicle license is expected to remain flat. Property tax revenue will decline steeply, as the anticipated levy is $52.5 million less than that of FY 2012.

“We are able to reduce Maricopa County homeowners tax bills again this year because of the support we received from Governor Jan Brewer and the Arizona State Legislator this year, who wisely chose not to shift the cost of state programs to the Arizona Counties,” said supervisors’ Chairman Max Wilson.

The owner of a median valued home ($111,000) should see a decrease by $16.75 or 10.8% in the county portion of their tax bill while the rate is expected to remain flat at $1.2407 per $100 valuation. This is due to the steep decline in valuations. The overall primary net assessed valuation declined nearly 11%. When including the rate for Special Districts, the median valued homeowner should see a decrease of $19.82.

“This FY 2012-13 tentative budget has good news for Maricopa County taxpayers” said County Manager Tom Manos. “For a property owner with a median valued home of approximately $111,000 this budget represents nearly a $20 reduction in their property tax bill.”

The supervisors agreed to some $395 million in capital projects and technology improvements, including the Sheriff’s Headquarters. Maricopa County finances capital improvement projects on a “pay-as-you-go” policy, avoiding debt and interest charges.

“More than 50% of the Maricopa County’s budget is spent on public safety, a role we take very seriously,” said District 3 Supervisor Andy Kunasek. This is a very tight budget, but funds all of our essential programs.”

Supervisor Don Stapley said that, “This budget is a responsible budget that meets our goals of cutting spending, reducing taxes, and funding valuable county services. Our economists do see an end in sight to the current recession, however, the economy in Maricopa County is improving very gradually.”

“We have one of the lowest property tax rates in the nation and certainly in the State of Arizona,” said District 1 Supervisor Fulton Brock. “We continue to have a structurally balanced budget and do more with less.”

“This is the 5th year in a row we are not funding raises for county employees,” said District 5 Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox. “With the state and many Arizona cities funding employee raises this year, I am concerned that we may lose some of our valuable county employees. I would like to ask the Office of Management and Budget to come up with some incentive package for our employees.”

Cari Gerchick
Communications Director Maricopa County
gerchickc@mail.maricopa.gov
Cell: 602-790-8621

 

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