Assessor Paul D. Petersen

Maricopa County Assessor's Office

News for 2009

Assessor Keith Russell's Office Wins Two Awards

Phoenix --- Maricopa County Assessor Keith Russell's Office received one state and one international award last week.

The Assessor's Geodetic Densification and Cadastral Survey (GDACS) parcel adjustment project team was recognized for the "2008 Survey Project of the Year" award at the 7th Annual Arizona Professional Land Surveyor's Association Awards Ceremony in Flagstaff, Arizona on September 11, and the International Association of Assessing Officers recognized the Arizona Chapter of the International Association of Assessing Officers as the "2009 Chapter of the Year" at the 75th annual international conference on assessment administration in Louisville, Kentucky on September 9, 2009.

The purpose of the GDACS project was to adjust the County's 18 foundational GIS datasets consisting of over 1.5 million tax parcels to align with the County's new data standards and available aerial photography. The Assessor's parcel data is widely used as a base map by other County departments, Cities, other government agencies, engineering and land planning companies, land developers, real estate professionals, and the general public. The Assessor's project came in under budget and was completed on-time. The County partnered with Smart Data Strategies, Inc. and Engineering Mapping Solutions (EMS).

The Arizona Chapter of the International Association of Assessing Officers is a statewide organization, but is composed mainly of assessment professionals within the Maricopa County Assessor's Office. The Chapter had the following successes this past year that led to the recognition from the parent organization:

  1. Awarded IAAO's International Conference for 2011 to be held in Phoenix on September 18-21, 2011;
  2. Held seven IAAO classes that brought students from all over the US to Arizona;
  3. Established its renewed commitment for membership continuing education;
  4. Professionally redesigned ACIAAO newsletter;
  5. Re-wrote ACIAAO Bylaws;
  6. Reinstituted the Bruce Beylon Memorial Scholarship Fund; and,
  7. Created, planned, and supervised the 2008 Property Tax Conference in Flagstaff in October 2008.

View the press release (PDF).

Assessor Keith Russell Announces New Website Services

Effective Friday, August 21, 2009, the Maricopa County Assessor's Website will be updated to include Business Personal Property information for our business property owners.

New services will include the ability to search Business Personal Property assessment records, a calendar of important events, answer frequently asked questions, and important information on E-Filing. In addition, the website will provide Personal Property forms and general information including important internet links relating to business personal property.

Citizens will have the ability to search for information five different ways; by personal property Roll/Account Number, by Owner/Business Name, by Property Location, by Multiple Number, and by Lessor Number.

The Website Enhancement Project Team has worked diligently to provide tools for the public to search business personal property information and improve services provided to the citizens of Maricopa County.


View the press release (PDF).

Nevada Attorney General Joins In Efforts Against Bogus Property Tax Offer

Property Tax Savings Fraud Alert

Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto has issued the following consumer advisory as part of an ongoing effort to educate consumers.

The Nevada Attorney General is warning consumers that letters which look official are being sent out by an organization which calls itself the "Property Tax Review Board." The Board claims that it can lower property taxes for property owners.

The "Property Tax Reduction Form" claims recipients can save hundreds of dollars on their property taxes for a fee of $189. Carson City Assessor Dave Dawley indicates that the information contained in the letter is based on California law, not Nevada law. In Nevada, property owners do not pay taxes based upon market value. Taxes are calculated on replacement cost, new less depreciation. The Nevada Legislature put a property tax cap into effect in 2005 using the 2004-2005 base year for property taxes. Therefore, the savings the Property Tax Review Board promises are based on faulty data and a Nevada property owner will probably see no savings. If Nevada property owners have questions about the calculation of their property taxes, the local country assessors will provide assistance free of charge. There is no need to pay a third party a $189 fee for this information.

Property Tax Review Board operates in Arizona, Nevada and California and is headquartered in California. California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown, Jr. filed suit on May 12, 2009 against Michael McConville, his brother Sean McConville, and their businesses, Property Tax Reassessment and Property Tax Adjustment Services, in San Diego County Superior Court. According to that lawsuit, the McConville brothers billed tens of thousands of homeowners throughout California nearly 4200 each for property tax reassessment services that were almost never performed and are available free of charge from local tax assessors. Few, if any, of the assessment appeals were completed, the suit alleges. In addition, the Ventura County District Attorney's Office has charged one of the brothers, Sean McConville, with 20 felony counts for criminal conduct stemming from his property tax reassessment operations.

Attorney General Masto cautions consumers about responding to solicitations offering guaranteed savings. If consumers have any questions, they should call their local county assessor's office. Questions regarding this matter can also be addressed by contacting the Nevada Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection at (775)684-1169.


View the press release (PDF).

Arizona State Attorney General's Office Consumer Advisory - Bogus Property Tax Offer

*** Consumer Advisory ***

Terry Goddard Warns Consumers to Beware of Bogus Property Tax Offer

(Phoenix, Ariz. - August 4, 2009) Attorney General Terry Goddard is warning Arizona homeowners to be wary of official-looking advertisements claiming that a homeowner's property qualifies for a "property tax reduction review." This solicitation appears to be an attempt to scam homeowners who are looking to reduce their property tax bill.

The solicitation, which requests a $189 processing fee, is not affiliated with any government entity. The document attempts to appear official and contains a "notice number" and deadline for prompt processing.

Assessed valuations for 2009 cannot be changed since the appeals process for 2009 has ended. In addition, there is no fee required to file a property valuation appeal with county Treasurers' or Assessors' offices in Arizona.

A sample of the solicitation is attached.

If you believe you have been a victim of consumer fraud, please contact the Attorney General's Office in Phoenix at 602-542-5763, in Tucson at 520-628-6504, or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at 1-800-352-8431. Consumers can also file complaints online by visiting the Attorney General's Web site at www.azag.gov. To file a complaint in person, the Attorney General's Office has satellite offices throughout the state with volunteers available to help. Locations and hours of operation are posted on the Attorney General's Web site.


View the Arizona State Attorney General's press release (PDF).

Assessor's Citizen's Aide to Assist the Public

Phoenix --- In this time of economic downturn and lean budgets, the Maricopa County Assessor's Office is committed to providing the public with the best customer service possible.

The Assessor has recognized the need to better assist citizens and businesses with difficult issues or concerns regarding their property valuations and has, therefore, created a parttime Citizen's Aide position. The Citizen's Aide will provide timely communication in response to questions, or will route matters to the appropriate division for research or resolution. They will also ensure proper follow-up and closure of all inquiries while keeping the Assessor Administration apprised of specific areas of concern and/or, patterns & trends that need to be addressed. The Citizen's Aide will be available on Tuesdays, and Wednesdays at (602) 372-1608 beginning July 13, 2009.

In addition to the Citizen's Aide position, we are also looking at ways to provide commercial components and sketches on the Assessor's website (www.maricopa.gov/assessor) to help ensure the square footage of homes and commercial properties are correct. Look for these features on our website in the future.

View the press release (PDF).

Response to Article in the Arizona Republic on July 12, 2009

As reported in the Arizona Republic on July 12, 2009, the Maricopa County Assessor's Office is conducting a comprehensive audit of all taxing jurisdiction's records. This is the first such review of property tax records since 1994. It is the express goal of the Assessor's Office to have the property tax roll as accurate as possible.

Citizens of Maricopa County should be aware of the following:

  1. The Assessor's Office is still in the process of researching and auditing all parcels within the county as part of this review.
  2. If you are aware of an error, in which you may have overpaid your taxes, you may contact the Maricopa County Assessor's office at 602.506.3406, and request a Notice of Claim. This form allows you to start the refund process.
  3. If you have questions or concerns about your property, please contact us at 602.506.3406.
  4. If you are concerned that you may have underpaid a past property tax bill, rest assured that the Assessor's office will not attempt to collect past taxes, pursuant to A.R.S. §42-16252.

Property owners should be satisfied to know that the vast majority of parcels have been properly and accurately entered into the tax roll. The Assessor and the Office want to thank all of the taxing jurisdictions which assisted us in the review process.


View the press release (PDF).

Parcel and County Zoning Adjustment Project (GDACS)

The Maricopa County Planning and Development Department and the Assessor's Office have accepted all of the files from Smart Data Strategies, Inc (SDS) and its partner, Engineering Mapping Solutions (EMS), for the geospatial adjustment of the county's existing GIS parcel basemap.

"This project represents a successful collaboration of many County agencies to come together to align the property records and County Zoning with existing aerial photography and land survey throughout the County. This now allows all County agencies to see the same geographic information in relationship to one another greatly reducing confusion and errors during the many decision processes effecting the citizens and tax payers. This project also demonstrates the commitment of County staff to do the job right... on time and within budget." Russ Heisinger, Maricopa County Assessor - GIS Manager

"We were honored to partner with Maricopa County on a project of this significance. Increasing the level of accuracy of the parcel data to such a detailed level not only ensures the best use of previous GIS investments, but also gives the county government and the citizens of Maricopa County the confidence that decisions are being made using the best possible data." Susan Marlow, SDS President and CEO

Although the contract portion of the project is complete and staff has been assigned back to their duties, we will continue to work with the Maricopa County Department Of Transportation Land Survey Division to research and correct areas denoted for further research beyond the contracted scope of this project. The Assessor's office has a list of files that will be assigned on an on-going basis to research and resolve these issues.

This project was completed within its budget and timeframe and will be monitored to estimate resource commitment and time. We also will be submitting this project for NACo, IAAO and GFAO Awards.


View the press release (PDF).

2010 Notice of Valuation - Press Release

Approximately 99 percent of all Maricopa County home-owners will see a decrease in their 2010 FCV assessment from their 2009 FCV assessment

Phoenix --- Maricopa County Assessor Keith Russell will send out approximately 1.5 million assessments to everyone who owns real property in the county on February 20, 2009. For the second year in a row, the County Assessor's office will report a decline in the median Full Cash Value (FCV) for single-family residences. The 2010 median FCV for a single-family residence in Maricopa County is $148,800, down from $192,800 in 2009.

"The continued slide in residential home values that we have seen over the past few years is squarely reflected in the notices all property owners will receive in February" said Russell.

"The market time period reflected in the 2010 Notice of Value was the fall of 2007 through the fall of 2008" said Russell, adding that "this [time period] was when the market sales for singlefamily residences showed double-digit declines. Every community in our county shows a decrease.

For the first time in more than a decade all other types of property in Maricopa County, such as apartments, commercial property, vacant land, etc., have also declined or remained flat in median value. "Market data for these other types of properties have also been hit with the downturn in the economy," said Russell. "Our net assessed value for the county has not decreased since fiscal year 1992-93," he commented "It looks like this valuation cycle (2010) will break our overall positive growth string."

Attached is a schedule which details the median changes in different property types as well as break down of median change and a map for the single family residential properties by city and zip code.

County Assessor Russell's 2010 Notice of Valuation Note (PDF)

2010 Single Family Residential by City (PDF)

2010 Single Family Residential by Zip (PDF)


View the 2010 Notice of Valuation press release (PDF).

Assessor Consolidates Service Locations Due to Budget Constraints

Phoenix --- Due to the recent economic downturn and the tightening of government revenues, the Maricopa County Assessor's office is closing its Mesa satellite office. All employees currently working at the Mesa office will be reassigned to the remaining four satellite locations of the Assessor's office in Maricopa County. The final day that the Mesa satellite office will be open is Friday, January 30.

The Maricopa County Assessor's office will continue to have a presence in Mesa. As part of the agreement to close the Mesa satellite office, the Assessor will initially have a representative available to assist the public at the Southeast Mesa Judicial Complex located at 222 East Javelina Drive, Mesa, AZ 85210, Suite 2300. This office will be staffed on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00 a.m. to 12 noon.


View the press release (PDF).