Group seeks ballot measure to limit property taxes

Group seeks ballot measure to limit property taxes

Property owners would see tax breaks while Arizona cities, school districts and other taxing entities would face limits on the amount of money they raised if a ballot measure filed Tuesday won voter approval next year.

In reaction to steeply rising property valuations, a group calling itself Arizona Tax Revolt wants to push down the levy limit of any government body that collects property taxes, from cities and counties to school districts and fire districts.

The ballot measure is similar to provisions of Proposition 13, a property-tax measure that changed the real estate and taxation picture in California after voters approved it in 1978.

The Arizona measure, called the Property Tax Levy Rollback, would require taxing bodies to return to the levy amounts they used in 2005, unless they met certain spending restraints.

After that, they could increase the levy only by the percentage that new growth contributed to the taxing district, as well as up to 2 percent for inflation.

A second pending measure with Proposition 13 hallmarks will seek to roll back property valuations to 2003 levels. Goldstone said he is hoping other taxpayer groups will lead the charge on that ballot initiative, although he said if they tarry, he will file his own ballot measure in the coming weeks.

Goldstone started a similar initiative last year but fell short of the needed signatures.

This measure, which would amend the state Constitution, needs the signatures of 230,047 registered voters by July 3 to qualify for the November 2008 ballot.

Mary Jo Pitzl, The Arizona Republic

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