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ARF- 7594 Regular Agenda Item     2. A.    
Special BOS Meeting
Meeting Date: 09/27/2022  
Submitted For: Melissa Henderson Submitted By: Marian Sheppard, Clerk of the Board
Department: Clerk of the Board of Supervisors  

Board of Equalization (BOE) Hearing Officer's recommendations regarding appeals of the Assessor's 2023 tax year property valuations.
Background Information
The Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) require that each year the Assessor issue Notice of Value cards to every property owner in Gila County.  Property owners who disagree with the Assessor's valuation of their property can follow a process outlined in the A.R.S. to appeal the Assessor's valuation.  The process starts with appealing directly to the Assessor.  After meeting with the Assessor, if the property owner is still not satisfied, the property owner may appeal to the BOE.

The Gila County BOE appointed H. Charles "Chuck" Johnson as its BOE Hearing Officer to conduct the hearings and make recommendations to the BOE.  All petitions that meet the A.R.S. requirements are scheduled for hearings.  Hearings can be conducted in person or "on the record" if the property owner cannot be present.  If the property owner cannot be present, Hearing Officer Johnson considers the written information submitted by the property owner and written information submitted by the Assessor's staff.

Prior to the start of the hearing, the property owner and Assessor's staff are sworn in by the Chief Deputy Clerk of the Board.  Hearing Officer Johnson announces the parcel number for each hearing and explains the hearing process to the property owner.  By Arizona law, the property owner has the burden of proof.  Hearing Officer Johnson takes testimony from the property owner first.  He may ask clarification questions and the Assessor's staff is able to ask questions of the property owner.  The Assessor's staff presents testimony and evidence second.  This information is provided in written form explaining the Assessor's position on the property's valuation.  A copy of this information is given to the property owner and Hearing Officer Johnson at the hearing.  Hearing Officer Johnson may ask clarification questions and the property owner is given an opportunity to ask questions or rebut evidence from the Assessor's staff.  There are times when a petitioner and the Assessor's Office have reached a stipulated agreement on a property value before the BOE hearing.  In that case, the Assessor's Office will present the stipulated agreement to Hearing Officer Johnson at which time he may accept the agreed upon value or may change the value.

The A.R.S. allows the Assessor or property owners who are dissatisfied with the valuation or classification of the property as fixed by the County BOE to appeal directly to Tax Court.
A summary of the hearing is as follows: 

Petitions Appealed to the BOE Level:    3
Parcels Appealed to the BOE Level:      3
Parcels Denied a Hearing:                     0
Parcels with No Change in Value:          2
Parcels with Decrease:                          1
The Gila County BOE needs to vote to receive and accept Hearing Officer Johnson's recommendations for valuation review for 2023 tax year hearings that were conducted on September 21, 2022. 

The County BOE is required to decide all Petitions for Review of Valuation before October 15th of each year.

Per contractual agreement between Gila County BOE Hearing Officer Johnson and the BOE, the BOE's review of the Hearing Officer's decision is limited.  The County receives the decision of Hearing Officer Johnson and shall uphold the decision of the Hearing Officer Johnson unless there is substantiated evidence presented to the BOE that the procedures for the hearing were not followed, state law was violated or there is no evidence from the record to substantiate the Hearing Officer's decision. 
The Gila County BOE is requested to receive and accept the BOE Hearing Officer's recommendation for 3 properties that were  heard on September 21, 2022, per the attached spreadsheet. 
Suggested Motion
(Recess as the Gila County Board of Supervisors and convene as the Gila County Board of Equalization.)  Information/Discussion/Action to receive and accept the Gila County Board of Equalization Hearing Officer's recommendations regarding appeal hearings that were held on September 21, 2022, for the tax year 2023 property valuations. (Melissa Henderson) (Adjourn as the Gila County Board of Equalization and reconvene as the Gila County Board of Supervisors.)

BOE - 2023 HO Decisions

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