Arizona lawmakers have been hard at work trying to stop a confusing affidavit from going out with property evaluations this year, and so far it’s working.
Paul Peterson, a public information officer for Maricopa County Assessor Keith Russell, said no affidavit was sent out to Maricopa County residents this year, and it may never be sent out if legislators have their way.
The affidavit was supposed to be sent out as part of House Bill 2001, a 214-page jobs bill signed by Gov. Brewer in 2011. It would have required homeowners to sign the affidavit and return it saying they live in the home as their primary residence. If the affidavit was not signed a home would be classified as Class 4, or an investment property, and that homeowner could pay up to $600 more in property taxes.
“After the law passed everyone realized how ridiculous it was,” Peterson said. “Some of the assessors got together with the governor’s office, some members of the Legislature, and the Department of Revenue, and decided to do a legislative fix. It’s in the works right now and will probably be passed in a month. Because of that, because it will be scaled back, no affidavits will be sent at all. The assessors just felt it would be counterproductive to confuse everyone by sending out an affidavit.”
The new bills, Senate Bill 1217 and House Bill 2486, are changing the law so that every four years certain homeowners, like those with two addresses within the county or those with an address outside the county, will be sent an affidavit asking which residence is their primary residence.
Currently, each home is classified as Class 3, or a primary residence, until the resident informs the county assessor otherwise. Homeowners of a Class 3 home receive an automatic rebate on their property taxes that is not supposed to go to Class 4 residences. If a homeowner fails to report their rental property as a Class 4 residence the city or town where the home is located may impose a penalty of $150 per day for each day of violation. To register a property as Class 4, or a rental property, visit http://www.maricopa.gov/Assessor/Residential_Property_Form.aspx.
The 2013 Notices of Value have already been sent out in Maricopa County. If a property owner wants to appeal any information contained in the notice they must do so by the April 17 deadline.
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