Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms

  • A

    • Ad Valorem - According to the value.
    • APN (Assessor Parcel Number) - A numeric system for referring to each parcel of property within the county. (Composed of map books, pages, blocks and parcels.)
      See also Parcel Number.
    • Area Code - Assessor assigned code that represents the subpolitical jurisdiction that receives the tax dollars. The first two digits represent the school district, the next two digits represent the city or town and the last two digits represent special districts.
    • Assessed Valuation - Value derived by the County Assessor by applying the assessment ratio to limited or full cash value.
    • Assessment Ratio - Percentage, based on property usage, applied by the County Assessor to limited or full cash value in determination of assessed value.
    • Assignment - Transference of interest in something to someone else.
  • B

    • Back Tax - Any outstanding tax that exists other than the current year.
    • Bidder Information Card -A registration card to be filled out by purchasers of outstanding tax liens.
    • Bonds - Long-term indebtedness approved by voters in a particular taxing district.
  • C

    • Certificate of Purchase - An instrument denoting the amount of taxes, interest and fees for which a tax lien was sold.
    • CP Assignment - The purchase of a tax lien at any time other than the original sale.
    • CP Individual - Liens that were purchased at the first offering.
    • CP Holder - Individuals or entities that invest in tax liens.
    • Comparative Amount - Listing of the previous year's taxes for comparison to the current year's taxes by jurisdiction.
  • D

    • Delinquent Tax - Taxes owing other than the current year.
  • E

    • East Valley Institute of Technology - The East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT) is a public school district providing specialized vocational/technological training to high school students from 10 districts throughout the East Valley.
    • Exemption - Property tax exemptions specified IX§ 2, Constitution of Arizona for widow, widowers, and permanently disabled.

  • F

    • Full Cash Valuation - Full cash value is synonymous with market value derived annually by the County Assessor using standard appraisal methods.

  • L

    • Lien-holder - Typically referring to individuals or entities investing in tax lien purchases.
    • Limited Valuation - This value is formula driven and was established by the legislature to provide for a mean-based operating and maintenance budget for taxing jurisdictions. Increases to this value are based on statutory formulas.

  • O

    • Overrides - Amounts levied pursuant to an approval by voters in a particular taxing district to exceed budget or tax limitations.

  • P

    • Parcel Number - is an identifier of an area of land, of any size, that is capable of being conveyed by a single legal description in one ownership.
      See also APN
    • Personal Property - Includes property of every kind, both tangible and intangible, not included in the term "real estate".
    • Primary Tax Rate - Rate per $100 of assessed value used to generate primary taxes.
    • Primary Taxes - Ad valorem taxes calculated on limited assessed value for the maintenance and operation of State, County, Cities, School Districts and Community College District.

  • R

    • Residential Ad Valorem Limit - The limit of the tax, based on the value of residential property. The Arizona State Constitution Article 9 subsection 18 establishes a limitation on the amount of property taxes that can be levied by any taxing authority against a residential property for the purpose of operations and maintenance.
    • Resolutions - Action on a parcel that will change or alter the tax in some way.

  • S

    • Secondary Tax Rate - Rate per $100 assessed value used to generate secondary taxes.
    • Secondary Taxes - Ad valorem taxes calculated on full cash assessed value to pay redemption charges on any bonded indebtedness, amounts levied by voter overrides and assessments levied by Special Districts.
    • Special Districts - Limited purpose districts such as Flood Control, fire, irrigation, etc.
    • State Aid to Education - Reduction (tax credit) for homeowners (owner-occupied) in primary property tax levied by school districts in your area. This amount will be reimbursed to School Districts from the State through the County Treasurer.
    • Sub tax - Purchase of current delinquent year by previous year's lienholder.

  • W

    • West-MEC - A public school district. In 1990, the Arizona legislature approved by statute that public school districts could join together through a public vote to combine efforts to offer Career and Technical Education programs. In November 2002, eight west-side district governing boards placed the formation of West-MEC on the ballots of their constituents. All eight west-side communities voted to form the Western Maricopa Education Center.



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CP Expirations Legal Changes

There has been a change in CP Liens that is applicable to lienholders. Beginning September, 2019, SB1236 will include a provision that modifies the language in §A.R.S. 42-18127 Section A.

The original certificate of purchase, in addition to all subsequent taxes (sub taxes) will expire if an action to foreclose has not commenced within ten years after the last day of the month in which the original certificate was acquired.

Pursuant to this legislation, tax liens eligible for expiration will include the original certificate and all related sub taxes in the expiration process. Those liens with deadlines that are already in effect will not be affected however it will affect all future sub taxing liens so that the deadline will expire within a ten year period after the last day of the month that it was acquired and time limits cannot be extended to the original purchase.

You should consult your attorney for further advice.

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Elderly Assistance Program

We have been receiving many phone calls from seniors expressing shock and dismay at the significant increase in their property tax bills. It is tragic. Treasurer Royce T. Flora has been trying for five years to get the legislature to reclassify low-income seniors’ homes in order to lower their ever-increasing property taxes. Several different players have defeated these efforts each year, which has led to a doubling of many folks’ property taxes this year. Treasurer Flora is not giving up. Please click on this LINK to read a letter to legislators explaining the Treasurer’s disappointment in their failure to help our needy seniors. With the enthusiastic help of Representatives Bob Thorpe (R-Flagstaff) and Anthony Kern (R-Phoenix), Treasurer Flora will again champion the effort to get a bill passed by legislators and signed by the governor in 2020.

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October 24, 2019



The political attack made by Vince Leach, from Pinal County, on the Maricopa County Treasurer’s Office is neither factual nor warranted. The Maricopa County Treasurer has complied with the new law to mail out 2019 Property Tax notices to property owners with a mortgage. As required by SB1033, “ARS § 42-18054: (a) tax statement sent to the mortgagor shall be a written document and may be in any form established by the county treasurer.” This was done.

In an effort to mitigate the costs of this unfunded mandate, Treasurer Royce Flora designed a postcard-size notice like the ones discontinued four years ago because it duplicated information already provided to the taxpayer from both the Assessor and the mortgage companies. Mr. Leach’s unfunded mandate in the SB1033 law cost Maricopa County taxpayers an additional $230,000.00 for printing and mailing, alone. That is not “childish” money.

Mr. Leach’s complaints appear to be a form of retaliation against Treasurer Flora and this office. Mr. Leach did not support Treasurer Flora’s efforts to protect low-income seniors from ever increasing property taxes, and helped lead the effort to kill the bill putting seniors at risk of losing their homes. Mr. Leach was told about the cost before the bill passed and his statement to the Treasurer’s PIO was “have fun.” Maybe that is why people in his county have higher taxes than we do in Maricopa County.

The Maricopa County Treasurer’s Office is the most transparent government entity in the state of Arizona. All our statements, processes, and taxpayer information is on our website, in addition to the several mailings and email blasts throughout the year. Our website is easily accessed and user-friendly. In fact, over 300,000 property owners have accessed our website for their specific property tax information, in addition to general information that it provides.

Treasurer Flora will continue to look for ways to lower costs to taxpayers and, in particular, will work with like-minded elected officials to relieve the tax burden on low income seniors. Mr. Leach clearly is not one of them.

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Parcel number 123-45-678 9, can be entered as 123 45 678

Parcel number 123-45-678a 9, can be entered as 123 45 678 a

For Mobile Home/Business Personal Property - Use the personal property roll number with a prefix of 9 as the parcel number.
Example: Roll number 60-00-001 8 can be entered as 960 00 001.

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