Fri, Feb. 28

Clarkdale property valuations have been on roller coaster
Property tax rate, levy on Tuesday’s agenda

Clarkdale's property tax levy history has never stuck property owners with more than a $20 increase in any one year, per $100,000 of valuation — but increases have been consistent.

Clarkdale's property tax levy history has never stuck property owners with more than a $20 increase in any one year, per $100,000 of valuation — but increases have been consistent.

Tuesday, the Clarkdale Town Council will take on a topic no one really wants to see happen: an increase in property taxes.

For Tuesday’s 3 p.m. meeting, to be held in the Men’s Lounge alcove of the Clark Memorial Clubhouse, the Council’s agenda will include a public, state-mandated Truth in Taxation hearing regarding property taxes, with approval of the property tax levy and property tax rate.

The proposed levy is meant to raise funds for some of Clarkdale’s many road and street improvement needs. Voters shot down a bond issue for such purposes last November.

The levy increase would raise, by $9.33 per year, the property taxes for the owner of a property with a $300,000 valuation, and less of an increase for properties with smaller valuations.

The current median home value for Clarkdale is $280,000. Recently hired Clarkdale Town Manager Tracie Hlavinka provided the Verde Independent with a detailed history of property tax rates and levies for the town over the past 10 years.

The roller-coaster ride for Clarkdale property owners somewhat matches the national trend, suffering a dip of nearly half the total valuation for the town in a four-year span in the early 2010s.

The recession and adjustable-rate mortgage crisis of 2008 and 2009 hit Clarkdale a few years after it hit the majority of the U.S., especially in fast-growing areas, but the housing market has stabilized — both for Clarkdale and most of America.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010 was the first year since 1967 that housing suffered any level of deflation, dipping 0.37 percent that year. Since then, inflation has been modest, never more than 3 percent in any one year, rising from an average selling price of $127,000 in 2010 to about $152,000 in 2018.

For Clarkdale, and any other municipality with property tax levies, net valuation determines how much each owner must pay in order to reach a tax pool goal.

For example, the Clarkdale Council raised the levy by more than $20 per $100,000 of valuation in 2010, achieving a levy total of $403,000, but there was no increase to the levy in 2011, 2012, 2013 or 2015 in amassing more than $400,000 total collected each year.

In 2014, the Council raised the levy rate from 1.333 to 1.6, taxing each property by $8 more than the year prior, generating $26,000 in new tax revenue.

The 2016 jump was the biggest of the past nine years for Clarkdale, with a leap of $14.87 per $100,000 of valuation, generating $48,000 in new tax revenue. No jump since then has been larger than $3.43 in any year.

Clarkdale’s estimated overall population has gone up less than 3 percent since the 2010 Census.

The net assessed valuation for all Clarkdale properties that fall into the levy pool dipped from about $45.4 million in 2011 to $27.4 million in 2014. A first-year dropoff of more than $8 million, in 2012, contributed heavily to the decline.

The net valuation has steadily crept back up to $35.1 million this year.

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