Wed, Feb

Flood district seeks tax increase


The Yavapai County Flood Control District is raising its secondary property taxes over last year’s level.

“[Flood control] is proposing an increase in secondary property taxes of $1 million or 24.44 percent,” the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors stated via press release. “This proposed increase is exclusive of increased secondary property taxes received from new construction.”

According to the Board of Supervisors, the increase is also contingent on changes that might occur due to property tax levies for voter-approved bonded indebtedness. The tax increase will cause flood control’s secondary property taxes on a $100,000 home to be $23.46, a figure that includes the total proposed taxes including the tax increase.

Without the tax increase, the total taxes that would be owed on a $100,000 home would be $19.14.

“About three or four years ago, they cut the tax rate for the flood control district [in order] to keep the tax rate consistent,” Yavapai County District 3 Supervisor Randy Garrison said, adding that this forced the district to work on a deficit. “Right now, we have no money in the reserve fund.”

According to Garrison, this year marks a good time to raise flood control’s allocation and allow the department to build up its reserve fund again. New construction is on the uptick, freeing up room for a tax increase in one department while keeping the overall tax rate consistent.

Furthermore, the increase to the department will allow it to respond better to planned and, perhaps more importantly, unplanned flood control projects.

Garrison said that the Board of Supervisors is anticipating imminent flood damage due to monsoon rains in the areas affected by the Goodwin Fire that started in June. The fire has burned upward of 28,000 acres and is currently over 96 percent contained. Extensive erosion may occur onto roadways near the Mayer, Poland Junction and Dewey communities, forcing a response from flood control above, according to Garrison, “typical county maintenance.”

In addition, flood control is expected to conduct maintenance work around the Verde Villages Lake, which was constructed in the 1970s and currently suffers from erosion on one slope and the movement of one ditch closer to the lake, threatening roadways and homes.

Jerome, too, may receive some help from flood control to keep its community from suffering the impacts of heavy rains, though the amount allocated to the town, approximately $30,000, falls far short of an estimated total of $1.2 million for Jerome’s requested projects.

“There are some very strict [state] limitations on how the funds can be used, as well as federal limitations,” Garrison said, but added that the increase is necessary in order to insure flood control’s ability to combat the effects of flood damage.

“There are just so many projects that need to be done this year,” Yavapai County District 2 Supervisor Thomas Thurman said, but noted that the increase comes at the same time as state sales tax share is up, allowing the Board of Supervisors to lower a portion of its tax levy to keep customer bills consistent.

“We’re only about 18 percent of your tax bill,” Thurman said.

A public hearing on the tax increase is scheduled for Aug. 2 at 9 a.m. in the Board of Supervisors’ Hearing Room, 1015 Fair Street, Prescott. A courtesy hearing will be held on July 19 at 9 a.m. in the Board of Supervisors’ Hearing Room, 10 South Sixth Street, Cottonwood.

Residents of District 2 — including those in Camp Verde, Cornville, Page Springs, Rimrock, Lake Monetzuma and McGuireville — may contact Thurman at web. bos.district2@yavapai.us.

Residents of District 3 — including those in Cottonwood, Clarkdale, Jerome, Bridgeport, the Verde Villages, Verde Santa Fe, Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek — may contact Garrison at web.bos. district3@yavapai.us.

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