tempe the tax and spend capital of maricopa county. tempe also has the highest sales tax rate in the state of arizona in addition to having the highest property tax in maricopa county.


Payback time: Tempe is over the hump

Jan. 26, 2006 12:00 AM

You would think that there are bigger issues in Tempe than to haggle over a measly nickel.

But when it's another nickel on your municipal property tax rate, and with property assessments skyrocketing, that measly nickel can add up to some sizable dollars.

That's apparently what Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman had in mind last week when he urged his City Council to roll back the city's primary property tax rate by 5 cents to keep a pledge the council made a year ago when it hiked the rate to close a budget deficit.

Tax receipts are up this year and Hallman, a fiscal conservative in the Southeast Valley's most liberal city, wants the tax rate reduced from $1.40 per $100 of assessed value to $1.35.

Good heavens. You would think he'd carelessly referred to the city's "urban campers" as bums.

As The Republic's Jahna Berry reported Saturday, Councilman Ben Arredondo asserted during the tense meeting that the money could better be used for parks improvements. Other council members chimed in with a laundry list of other "needs."

Well, of course there are lots of potentially good uses for taxpayer dollars in Tempe. After all, like families, governments can always use more money. But we should never forget that governments get their money from families and individuals. Directly or indirectly, that's where tax dollars come from.

As Republic Community Columnist Dick Foreman, echoing Hallman, points out elsewhere on this page, the Tempe City Council made a pledge a year ago that its tax increase would be temporary - just long enough to get the city over the financial hump. Well, we're over the hump.

Time to keep the promise. Yes, it's only a nickel. That's no big deal. But it was a promise. And that's a big deal.

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