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Maricopa County passes tentative budget with lower tax rate

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(The Center Square) – The budget in Maricopa County will presumably go down by 11% in fiscal year 2025.

A decrease in the budget compared with the current fiscal year is largely attributed to less “one-time spending” and a decrease of $32.7 million in retirement costs. In total, the difference between fiscal year 2024 and 2025 was over $493 million. The budget totals at roughly $3.87 billion, with 47.6% going toward public safety and 25,78% going toward health, welfare, and sanitation.

“This is a really exceptional budget,” Supervisor Bill Gates said at the budget presentation on Wednesday.

The budget is considered tentative for now, as it was approved unanimously but is still subject to public input with the final budget being decided on June 24.

The Board of Supervisors also touted how the property tax rate has gone down by 17% since 2021, as it’s now 1.16, which translates to $116 on a $100,000 home.

At the meeting, supervisors and budget staff also discussed how the county is keeping tabs on how the state’s projected $1.3 billion budget deficit could impact them, although officials and staff did say the spending at the county level has left them in good financial shape. The county noted in a news release that the state’s overall sales tax revenue is down, which is notable given that 24.64% of final year 2025’s recommended budget sources are from “state shared sales tax.”

“This is a budget that supports future growth and quality-of-life issues while guarding against the possibility of an economic downturn,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Sellers said in a statement. “And because we have budgeted conservatively in the past, we can cut the tax rate and still make significant investments in high-priority areas such as public safety, election administration, workforce development, and heat relief.”

In addition, the county has distributed all of the funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, according to the news release. ARPA served as a funding boon for lower-level governments around the country after its passage in 2021.

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