Phoenix May Get It Right with Property Tax Hike

Today the City of Phoenix is considering raising property taxes.

No one really likes to talk about tax increases.  However, people love to talk about all the services they expect.  Health Care, Public Safety, Education, Parks and many more.  Someone has to pay for those services.  I believe a civilized society does provide those services and I am happy to pay into them.  Call me a Socialist.  I have been called much worse.

The truth is if we want to be competitive we have to offer the best and brightest an environment worth living in.  The land development baron’s here have stagnated us in more ways than unending sprawl.

The state/local tax burden ranking in Arizona has dropped 24 places from 17th highest in 1977 to 41st in 2008, and the residents here now pay the tenth-lowest tax burden. Most of the change came in the wake of a property tax limitation in 1980, and the state’s ranking has changed little since. Estimated now at 8.5% of income, Arizona’s state/local tax burden percentage is below the national average of 9.7%. Arizona taxpayers pay $3,244 per capita in state and local taxes.

The easiest way to right size this is to raise property taxes.  Now is the time to do this.  As property values have plummeted an increase in property tax will still probably show an overall lower tax bill than previous years.  This makes it nearly unnoticeable to most residents.  It will help control growth and help fund our future.  Kudos to Phoenix for finally considering this after 14 years of stagnation.  I wish other communities would do the same.

Disclosure: I am a property owner.