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Thu, Oct. 17

Supervisors poised to set tax rates<BR><I>Proposed hike of 1% would bring in $28.5 million</I>

COTTONWOOD – The county supervisors will consider approving the 2004 primary and secondary tax rates during Monday morning's meeting, which will take place in the Yavapai County Administrative Services Verde Valley Complex on South Sixth Street.

Recent Truth in Taxation hearings notified Yavapai County residents of the increased 2004-05 tax rate. The proposed shift from 1.68 in 2003-04 to 1.70 this year represents a 1 percent increase; however, this could significantly affect property taxes, since both the county's commercial and residential valuations continue to increase.

Some property valuations rose more than 100 percent from the year before, officials and residents have said.

Should the board vote to approve the increased tax rate, Yavapai County is expected to receive approximately $28.5 million in taxes.

Monday's 9:30 a.m. hearing concerns the approval of this year's primary and secondary tax rates. Primary taxes include those collected on items that are not necessarily voter-approved, such as school district basic budget items, while secondary taxes are those collected on voter-approved items, such as bonds or overrides.

In addition, District 1 Supervisor Gheral Brownlow said that the county supervisors are responsible for setting the school districts' tax rates.

Once a school board submits its budget, the Board of Supervisors is required to set the district's rates accordingly. "We just do the mathematics," Brownlow added.

This year, the Yavapai College bond debt service, a voter-approved secondary tax, is proposed to decrease 7 percent from a rate of about .311 to .289. The anticipated levy from taxpayers is estimated at $5.16 million. The levy goes to pay for the $69.5 million bond issue that voters approved in 2000.

In the Prescott Unified School District, the primary tax rate shows a 5 percent decrease from 2003-04 to 2004-05, falling from 3.639 to 3.458 and the secondary rate declining by 3 percent – from 0.294 to 0.286.

The proposed tax rates indicate a 58 percent increase in the general tax rate for Williamson Valley School District. Last year, the area's tax rate was 1.737, while the 2004-05 rate is set at 2.749.

In addition, residents in the Cottonwood Oak Creek School District also will recognize a significant tax rate increase. This year, the community's rate will rise about 188 percent from 0.484 to 1.395, which is expected to bring in more than $2.52 million in taxes.

Other items on the agenda:

• 9:55 a.m. – The board will consider permitting the Yavapai County Water Advisory Committee to submit a letter requesting a meeting with U.S. Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl, R-Arizona, or their staffs regarding water resource impacts that may occur as a result of the Yavapai Ranch Land Exchange.

• 10 a.m. – The Yavapai County Communtiy Health Services Department will request that the supervisors approve revisions to the county's health code.

The issue came forth in an Aug. 2 public hearing, during which the board requested that the revisions be submitted to the Food Safety Council for review before Monday's meeting.

• Noon – The county's Public Works Department will petition the board to build a roundabout on Commerce Drive, located near the entrance to Pioneer Park in Prescott.

The project's estimated cost is $25,547, which would be allocated from District 1 HURF project funds.

• Yarnell and Peeples Valley will hold a combined community cleanup on Aug. 28, with the county supervisor's approval.

• The Board of Supervisors may consider a request by the Yavapai County Education Services Agency to appoint nominees to various county school district vacancies.

According to state statute, if the number of candidates running for a single position is equal to the number of openings available, the board may cancel the election and appoint the person who filed the nominating petition to the position.

The board will consider 28 candidates within 15 districts, including the Prescott Unified School District and Yavapai College School District.

Contact the reporter at jottum@prescottaz.com

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