Overview of Arizona Taxes
The state of Arizona has relatively low property tax rates. Thanks in part to a law that caps the total tax rate on owner-occupied homes, the average effective tax rate in the state is 0.84%. That is well below the national average.
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To calculate the exact amount of property tax you will owe requires your property's assessed value and the property tax rates based on your property's address. Please note that we can only estimate your property tax based on median property taxes in your area. There are typically multiple rates in a given area, because your state, county, local schools and emergency responders each receive funding partly through these taxes. In our calculator, we take your home value and multiply that by your county's effective property tax rate. This is equal to the median property tax paid as a percentage of the median home value in your county.
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Jennifer Mansfield Tax
Jennifer Mansfield, CPA, JD/LLM-Tax, is a Certified Public Accountant with more than 30 years of experience providing tax advice. SmartAsset’s tax expert has a degree in Accounting and Business/Management from the University of Wyoming, as well as both a Masters in Tax Laws and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. Jennifer has mostly worked in public accounting firms, including Ernst & Young and Deloitte. She is passionate about helping provide people and businesses with valuable accounting and tax advice to allow them to prosper financially. Jennifer lives in Arizona and was recently named to the Greater Tucson Leadership Program.
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Arizona Property Taxes
The typical Arizona homeowner pays just $1,393 annually, saving nearly $800 as compared with the national average. Property taxes in Arizona are paid in two semi-annual installments, one due on October 1st of the tax year and another due on March 1st of the following year.
How Arizona Property Taxes Work: Limited Property Value
A handful of numbers are used in calculating the property tax due on each piece of real estate in Arizona. The first is the current cash value of your home. Arizona counties calculate a full cash value of every house in the county, often based on the sales prices of nearby, comparable homes.
Taxes are not based on the full cash value, however, but something called the Limited Property Value (LPV). Limited Property Value is based on cash value. It cannot exceed the cash value of the home and is further limited in how much it can increase each year. A law passed by Arizona voters in 2012 states that the LPV can increase by no more than 5% from one year to the next. This limits tax increases in times when home values are increasing quickly.
Tax rates are applied to assessed values. The assessment ratio for residential property in Arizona is 10%. That means assessed values are equal to 10% of Limited Property Value.
Arizona Property Tax Rates
Property tax rates in Arizona vary by location, depending on your city, county, school district and whether your house is in any special tax districts. There are two types of tax rates: primary tax rates and secondary tax rates. Primary tax rates fund government entities like municipalities and school districts, while secondary tax rates fund special districts and bond issues for major projects. Primary rates usually account for the majority of property tax rates.
Tax rates are calculated each year by taxing authorities depending on their funding needs and the tax base. That means rates can change from one year to the next. However, for owner-occupied homes, the total primary tax rate between all jurisdictions is limited to 1% of the property’s limited value. If your total rate exceeds that amount, your school district taxes will be reduced and the state will cover the difference.
Even homeowners whose tax rate is lower than that 1% limit receive a benefit from the state if they live in their house. Owner-occupied residences receive a Homeowner Rebate of 40% of school taxes, up to $600 per year.
Any of these benefits appeal to you? Perhaps the Grand Canyon State is for you. Take a quick look at our guide to mortgage rates and getting a mortgage in Arizona.
That rebate, and the 1% cap mentioned above, keep property taxes in Arizona relatively low. The table below shows effective property tax rates in every county in Arizona.
|County||Median Home Value||Median Annual Property Tax Payment||Average Effective Property Tax Rate|
The largest county in Arizona, Maricopa County, is home to the city of Phoenix and surrounding cities like Mesa, Chandler and Glendale. The average effective tax rate in the county is just 0.81%. Rates vary by city and school district.
In the city of Phoenix, within the Phoenix school district, the primary rate on residential property is about 8.9% of assessed value, while the secondary rate is 5.2%. Since these apply to assessed value (at most 10% of market value), they are equal to no more than 0.89% and 0.52% of market value. With the Homeowner Rebate of up to $600, many Phoenix residents will pay less than that.
Property tax rates in Pima County are the second highest of any county in Arizona. The average effective property tax rate in Pima County is 1.022%. That is slightly higher than the state average, but the typical Pima County homeowner pays $1,712 annually in property taxes – more than the average homeowner in any other county in the state. In Tucson, the largest city in Pima County, the average effective rate is 1.027%.
Pinal County has the highest property tax rates in the state of Arizona. The average effective property tax rate in Pinal County is 1.1%. This is about equal to the national average and significantly higher than the state average. It means that a homeowner with a home worth $200,000 can expect to pay about $2,200 annually in property taxes.
Located north of Phoenix, Yavapai County is home to the city of Prescott, as well as numerous NationalForests and Wilderness areas. The county offers residents abundant natural beauty – and low property tax rates. The average effective property tax rate in Yavapai County is just 0.71%, fifth lowest in the state.
Mohave County is the fifth largest county by area in the entire country. It also has some of the lowest property taxes. The average homeowner in Mohave County pays just $919 annually in taxes, less than half the national average, and only about two-thirds the state average of $1,393. The average effective property tax rate in the county is 0.68%.
Located in the southwestern corner of Arizona, along the Mexican and Californian borders, Yuma County has property tax rates that are slightly lower than the state average. The average effective property tax rate in Yuma County is 0.816%. With county median home value of $118,000, that means the average homeowner in Yuma County pays $963 annually in property taxes.
Cococino County, which covers the north central portion of Arizona, has the highest average home value of any county in the state. The average home in the county is worth over $220,000. So, although the average effective tax rate is relatively low, at 0.62%, actual payments are among the highest in the state. The typical Cococino County homeowner pays $1,377 annually in property taxes. That is still well below the national average of $2,107, however.
Cochise County sits in the southeast corner of the state of Arizona, along the borders with New Mexico and Mexico. The county has tax rates that are close to the state averages, but they vary depending on where you are and especially by what school district you are in.
For example, the school rate in the Double Adobe School District in 2014 was 0.985%, compared with just 0.28673% in the Buena School District. Of course, in both cases, these are primary rates, which means that combined with city and county rates, they cannot exceed a total of 1% for owner-occupied properties.
The typical homeowner in Navajo County pays $895 annually in property taxes, less than half the national average. That is in part because of the county’s relatively low home values. The median is just $112,200. Even taking that into account however, rates are quite low. The average effective tax rate in Navajo County is 0.798%.
If you are in search of an area with low taxes on real estate, look no further than Apache County, Arizona. The median real estate tax payment is $646 in Apache County, which is less than one-third the national average.
Property Tax: Which Counties are Getting the Best Bang for Their Buck
SmartAsset’s interactive map highlights the places across the country where property tax dollars are being spent most effectively. Zoom between states and the national map to see the counties getting the biggest bang for their property tax buck.
Our study aims to find the places in the United States where people are getting the most for their property tax dollars. To do this we looked at school rankings, crime rates and property taxes for every county.
As a way to measure the quality of schools, we calculated the average math and reading/language arts proficiencies for all the school districts in the country. Within each state, these schools were then ranked between 1 and 10 (with 10 being the best) based on those average scores.
For each county, we calculated the violent and property crimes per 100,000 residents.
Using the school and crime numbers, we calculated a community score. This is the ratio of the school rank to the combined crime rate per 100,000 residents.
We used the number of households, median home value and average property tax rate to calculate a per capita property tax collected for each county.
Finally, we calculated a tax value by creating a ratio of the community score to the per capita property tax paid. This shows us the counties in the country where people are getting the most bang for their buck, or where their property tax dollars are going the furthest.
Sources: US Census Bureau 2016 American Community Survey, Department of Education, Federal Bureau of Investigation, State Police or Justice Department websites