All property taxes, both primary and secondary, require approval by the voters. However, unlike many other communities, Fountain Hills does not have a primary property tax. The voter-approved series 2005 (refunding bonds) and 2014 (Saguaro reconstruction) bond amounts are the only part of the Fountain Hills property tax bill that is paid directly to the Town of Fountain Hills towards debt service costs. These bonds will be fully retired in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
Properties are classified by use as either commercial or residential property. Commercial properties consist of all income producing properties (examples: electric generating plants to a small mom and pop restaurant). Residential properties are rentals and owner occupied homes. The taxable value is calculated by the Maricopa County Assessor’s office.
The Arizona Department of Revenue and Maricopa County Assessor’s Office place two values on each homeowner’s property, referred to as “full cash” and “limited values”. Both primary and secondary taxes are levied against the limited value of the homeowner’s property.
Primary property taxes are used to fund operating budgets (county and school districts).
Secondary property taxes fund special district budgets (hospital, fire, library, water, street lights, and others), voter approved bonds and school district budget overrides. About 10-15 separate districts tax each property.
Where Does My Property Tax Money Go?
On average, a Fountain Hills residence with a limited cash value of $250,000 would have a total property tax bill for 2016 of approximately $1,917.22.
The Town of Fountain Hills voter-approved bonds (series 2005 and 2014) are funded with $111.80 of this bill, or about 6% of the overall total. This bond amount is the only portion of a homeowner’s secondary property tax bill that is paid to the Town of Fountain Hills towards debt service costs.
The remaining amount, $1,056.92, or 55% of this estimated tax bill, goes towards Education less the State Aid credit, available only for primary residences (not available for rental property or secondary residences).
The Maricopa County General County Fund, used for the delivery of services to County citizens, receives $350.23 (18%), and the Fountain Hills Sanitary District receives $225.43 (12%).
The remaining Special Districts receive $172.85 or 9%, which is made up of other taxes, for such items as water conservation, health, fire, flood control, and the library district. For a complete list of taxing districts, refer to your specific property tax bill, which may be viewed on the Maricopa County Treasurer’s official website.
Shown graphically, the typical Fountain Hills property tax bill is composed of primary and secondary taxing districts: