Over the next couple of days, home owners across Maricopa County will be getting their property tax assessment notices in the mail.
It’s quite likely (almost a certainty) that you’ll see the assessed value of your home has declined since your last notice.
That’s because, of course, generally speaking, home prices in Maricopa County have declined ”“ sometimes significantly.
Of note, and this is important folks, these notices are NOT tax bills, and your 2009 property taxes will not be lower because of this lower assessment.
“Well that sounds like a load of crap Jay! My home value declines and my property taxes don’t?!?” you may be thinking.
That’s because the assessment you are about to receive is for your 2010 taxes. You got your assessment for your current property taxes some 18 or so months ago.
Yes, the wheels of government turn slowly, and that includes the county tax assessors office. They lag about 18 months because there is time built in to appeal the assessment and because let’s face it, there are a lot of homes in Maricopa County. Gathering, assimilating, compiling and evaluating that much data takes time.
Before you get too bent out of shape remember this. A couple of years ago when Phoenix home values were exploding, you were paying taxes based on a lower value assessment from the previous 18 months. It works both ways”¦
Another thing to note. We get calls ALL the time after these notices come out from people who don’t think the assessed value equates to market value. They don’t. These aren’t appraisals. They aren’t usually even “drive bys”. Odds are no one in the assessors office has ever seen your home. Despite being called the “Full Cash Value” (FCV) this number does not reflect the true market value of your home. The valuations are determined based on sales data and statistics. Even so, they are fairly close to actual market value in some cases, but should never be used to determine the true market value of your home.
Here’s a chart courtesy of the Maricopa County Tax Assessor comparing median Full Cash Values between 2009 and 2010 assessments for various Phoenix area cities. The FCV numbers won’t match up with sales values, but the trends will be pretty darn close.Read it and weep.
Edited 2/24 changing references to “Fair Cash Value” to “Full Cash Value” because I’m an idiot and apparently had “fair” on the brain. Thanks Zoot!