Today on the Jeff Oravits Show(PLAY CLIP), I discussed the need to eliminate the ability of cities, towns and counties to retroactively raise the property tax rate. For example, a city can, by statute, raise property taxes every year by 2% without going to the voters. If they do not take that increase one year they can add it to a future year.
A good example of this is Flagstaff. For five years the Flagstaff City Council did not raise the property tax rate. So this year, they have the authority to raise it the 2% allowed plus 10% from past years for a total of 12% in one year. Tonight they are actually voting to increase it by 7% this year and the plan is to increase it 7% next year, the maximum allowed over two years without going to the voters.
During todays show I called on the State Legislature to end this practice! And within a few minutes Representative Bob Thorpe texted me and had this to say,
“I will try to end retroactive property tax increases” Rep. Thorpe
I went a step further and called on our Legislature to end the authority cities, towns and counties currently have to raise property taxes without going to the voters. My Plan is SIMPLE: ANY & ALL PROPERTY TAX INCREASES MUST BE SENT TO THE VOTERS FOR APPROVAL.
In a followup conversation after todays show Representative Thorpe had this to say regarding property taxes,
2 Legislative Tax Bills Proposed…
1) cities and counties cannot retroactively raise taxes. For example, Flagstaff can currently raise property taxes annually by 2%, but hasn’t done so in years. This year, they want to raise it 12%.
2) Cities and counties must refer all tax increases to a vote of the local constituents.
Rep. Bob Thorpe
Thank you Representative Thorpe for listening on this issue. The practice of most towns, cities and counties essentially rubber stamping 2% property tax increases and raising them year after year without voter approval must stop! If the reason for the increase is such a great idea, surely they will explain that to the voters and the voters will decide based on the merits and needs of the issue. This is the current practice for sales tax increases of any amount and it should be the practice going forward for property tax increases as well.
Tune in to the Jeff Oravits Show on 97.1FM this Friday for a conversation with Representative Bob Thorpe on this and other issues.