At its July 13 special meeting the Gila County Board of Supervisors approved a fiscal year 2022 county budget of $115.8 million, a primary property tax rate of $4.19 per $100 of assessed value and a number of contracts for post-fire flood mitigation projects.
County staff recommended keeping the tax rate at $4.19, where it has held steady since 2010. Though approved by the supervisors on the 13th, the rate will not be adopted until this August. While some residents believe this will increase the property tax rate, and opposed it in written comments during a truth in taxation hearing included in the meeting, county staff said that was not the case – that while property taxes may go up if assessed value increases, the rate is not changing.
The county proposed a $515,636 (2.24) percent increase in property taxes over last year, not counting increased taxes from new construction or any changes resulting from levies for voter-approved bonds or budget and tax overrides; this would increase primary property taxes on a $100,000 home from $409.82 to $419. According to county staff, approximately 30 percent of general fund revenues come from primary property taxes.
The largest share of general fund expenditures in the 2022 county budget, 30 percent (approximately $34.7 million) was marked for public safety. The next largest general fund expenditures were courts and criminal defense, 17 percent ($19.7 million); general government, 15 percent ($17.4 million); and Health & Emergency Management, 11 percent ($12.7 million).
The board also approved two flood mitigation contracts with JE Fuller Hydrology & Geomorphology. The first contract, for $119,000, was for the installation of cameras and rain gauges in local watersheds; the second, for $260,000, covered mitigation measures and long-range planning for Bloody Tanks Wash, Russell Gulch, Upper Pinal Creek and Silver
Creek, along with flood zone and mud flow maps. Both contracts were reimbursable, meaning Gila County will be repaid by the State of Arizona.
“Hopefully they [JE Fuller] can take us a long way in understanding what needs to be done,” said Assistant County Manager Homero Vela.
In addition, the supervisors approved 10 emergency contracts with local contractors, nine of whom were general contractors; the tenth will perform assessments of
ranching infrastructure. All 10 contracts are being paid through the Department of Emergency and Military Affairs.