There appears to be confusion about the amount of taxes individual property owners would pay for the proposed Pinal Rural Fire Rescue and Medical District (PRFR&MD). In his article reporting on the July 6, 2014 Pinal County Board of Supervisors meeting about PRFR&MD, James Hodl stated that “According to Turcotte (Chairman of the PRFR&MD Board), residents of the district would on average pay an additional $31 a year in property tax for fire suppression and first responder medical emergency services.”
First, from the PRFR&MD Impact Statement (Pinal County online), the present total net assessed value in the proposed district is $1,860,154 for the 571 parcels. The tax rate for the proposed district (and other fire districts) is 3% so the estimated total taxes that PRFR&MD would receive from all the properties in the proposed district is $1,860,154 × 0.03 = $55,804 (as given in the impact statement). In other words, the average tax increase per parcel (not per resident) would be $98. Because there are about 300 property owners in the proposed district, the average tax increase per owner would be $186.
For the taxes on an individual parcel, the net assessed value of that parcel can be multiplied by 0.03 to get an estimate of taxes. For our two parcels on East Aravaipa Road, the total net assessed value is $10,468. If this is multiplied by 0.03, then our estimated taxes for this district are $314. I think that the incorrect value quoted in the article came from the incorrect statement by Supervisor Todd House that my taxes would be $31, not $314. I think that Supervisor House incorrectly assumed that I was using our “Limited property value” and had not already multiplied by the assessment ratio to obtain my net assessed value.
To give this amount of taxes perspective, our total property taxes in 2013 were $970. In other words, an increase of $314 would increase our taxes by 32.4%. In fact this $314 is higher than what we paid in property taxes for either for the Ray School District ($258) or the Pinal County Jr College ($228).
The Pinal County Board of Supervisors has worked hard to reduce our property taxes in recent years. To support the very controversial Pinal Rural Fire Rescue, this proposed district would increase our property taxes over 30% and overwhelm the hard work of the Board of Supervisors to keep our property taxes under control. I applaud both Supervisors Pete Rios and Cheryl Chase for voting against this major increase in our property taxes.
/s/ Phil Hedrick
Editor’s Note: Copper Area News reporter James Hodl stated, “Mr. Hedrick was at the hearing and made the same point. As he did his calculation, others in the audience took out their devices to check his arithmetic, including Supervisor Todd House. House told him he misplaced a decimal point. I used House’s figure in the article, which was similar to a claim made earlier by Pinal Rural Fire Rescue.