Carly Moran – The Center Square contributor 

(The Center Square) – Maricopa County’s final 2023 budget lowers the property tax rate to 1.25% in hopes of stimulating the increasingly unaffordable housing market.

“The Phoenix metro area has gone from one of the most affordable in the country to one of the hardest hit by inflation. Our goal with this budget is to provide some relief to individuals and families dealing with rising costs,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates. “To do that, we are cutting property tax rates across the board.”

The previous property tax rate was 1.35%. Though it may appear to be a minute change, the difference adds up on more expensive properties. For example, a home worth $100,000 will now be taxed for $1,250 rather than $1,350.

“I’ve always said that one of my primary jobs as a supervisor is to look out for taxpayers and to make sure they get a good return on their investment. Because we’ve been fiscally responsible in the past, we can lower the tax rate this year at a time when many families can use every extra penny they can get,” said Vice Chairman Clint Hickman.

The new property tax seeks to assist lower to middle-class residents looking to become homeowners. Since COVID-19, homelessness and foreclosures have increased dramatically. Maricopa County officials seek to end this dilemma by reducing egregious costs.

“Buying a home or renting an apartment has become increasingly difficult in Maricopa County. Additionally, the number of people experiencing homelessness has grown and includes people of all ages. This budget addresses housing insecurity issues through new and existing projects, including cutting the tax rate for all property owners,” said Supervisor Tom Galvin.

Alongside reductions in property taxes, Maricopa County received a $435 million package from the American Rescue Plan. $100 million was previously used towards a rental assistance program, and $65 million will now fund affordable housing throughout the area.

“What we’re doing is making legacy investments – in housing and other infrastructure – that will outlast all of us in office for the benefit of our growing community,” said Supervisor Steve Gallardo.