The Pima County Board of Supervisors agreed Tuesday to waive penalties for homeowners who may have been confused by requirements of a new state law that has the potential of increasing their property tax liability.
Newly enacted statutes require all residential property to be classified as a primary or non-primary residence.
Primary residences are eligible for a reduction in property taxes under State Aid to Education. Residential property that is not an owner’s main household, however, is not eligible for that same reduction.
The Pima County Assessor contacted homeowners meeting criteria set by state statute, such as those having more than one residence, and asked them to confirm whether their properties were primary residences.
Owners may not have understood that they had to formally respond to that notice, even if the owner agreed with the classification shown on the notice. The Assessor by law was required to reclassify property as a non-primary residence if the owner failed to respond to two inquiries from the Assessor’s Office.
Not only would those owners under the law lose the property tax break, but would also be assessed a penalty, in an average amount of $200 per parcel.
More than 3,400 properties have been reclassified for failure to respond. In all, the owners would have faced tax penalties of roughly $600,000 without the Board action.
Property owners can appeal the reclassification to restore the correct designation.
For more information, please visit http://www.asr.pima.gov/.