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Benchmarking Property Taxes in a Metropolitan Area

Author: SPENCER T. BRIEN, DAVID SWINDELL, and BRENT STOCKWELL
Published in PAQ, Vol. 41 No. 1

Public officials in local communities are regularly concerned with the level of their property tax burden compared to that of neighboring jurisdictions. Making meaningful comparisons of property taxes across communities is challenging, however, because differences in the economic characteristics of towns and cities play a key role in how the property tax is locally administered. This paper presents the results of a collaborative property tax benchmarking initiative undertaken by a group of municipalities in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area. Property tax practices were compared across jurisdictions to develop a detailed depiction of tax differentials across the region.

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