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Maricopa County keeps tax rate steady

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted on Monday to keep the property tax rate steady.

The move will collectively result in a nearly $33 million cut in property taxes for county residents. The rate for the combined county-controlled operations will be $1.46 per $100 assessed valuation.

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted on Monday to keep the property tax rate steady.

The move will collectively result in a nearly $33 million cut in property taxes for county residents. The rate for the combined county-controlled operations will be $1.46 per $100 assessed valuation.

County officials said the action would result in a drop of about $13.63 on a median-priced home assessed at $102,000.

Two months ago, the board adopted a general fund budget $89 million lower than the previous year's.

"Now, just as the economy is turning positive, it is the right time to relieve our citizens of any additional tax burdens," said Supervisor Clint Hickman, of Goodyear.

Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, of Phoenix, voted for the proposal but expressed reservations.

"I do feel we could have adopted a slightly higher rate than we did, one which would not have raised taxes on homeowners, but would have provided about $15 million more to meet our critical needs."

Supervisor Denny Barney, of Gilbert, noted that "county taxes make up only about 11.7 percent of the average property tax bill.,"

The county-controlled levy provides revenues for general government and support for the county flood control district and library district.

This year, it will comprise 11.7percent of a homeowner's tax bill. The bulk of the property tax goes to fund public schools, the community colleges, municipalities, the Maricopa Integrated Health System and special districts.

Over the past four years, Maricopa County has reduced its property taxes by $124 million.

Property tax calculations are based on 2-year-old (2010) assessments, which were set at the very low point of the housing market recession, the board noted. Property valuations are rising in the most recent calculations.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.