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CASA GRANDE — Since pandemic restrictions were lifted, most Casa Grande residents have relished the return to normalcy and routines the way they were prior to 2020. However, one less exciting reversion to prepandemic norms is a slight raise in property taxes, which is necessary to pay off bonds dating back to 2006.

The overall property tax rate per $100 net assessed valuation is set to go up roughly 35 cents in the new fiscal year, from $1.34 this year to $1.59. That figure is still lower than the same tax rates in 2016 to 2019.

Citywide, the change will raise the total property tax levy amounts by almost $1.2 million from 2021 to 2022. Based on median property values in Casa Grande, the change will cost homeowners roughly an average of $37.50 next year.

According to City Manager Larry Rains, the rate was lowered in 2020 to comply with new statutory requirements, but that once the city ran out of balance reserves to pay off the bonds, an increase in the secondary levy and rate was necessary to service the annual debt.

In addition, Councilman Matt Herman noted that the original bond language called for a higher tax rate.

“This is us paying our bills,” Herman said. “Nobody wants to raise taxes. We have obligations as a city that taxpayers voted on. We’re not just raising the tax rate for no reason.”

Although the council approved the ordinance, Councilman Dick Powell was the lone vote against, citing disapproval with the tax hike that he said is “unfair” to residents.

Mayor Craig McFarland agreed that the tax jump is high but said that relative to the overall property tax bill, the city’s levy is quite small. Casa Grande currently collects just 7% of the overall property tax bill that Pinal County residents pay.

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Aaron Dorman is the Casa Grande reporter at PinalCentral, covering government, schools, business and more. He can be reached at adorman@pinalcentral.com.

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