The American Dream Act Arizona official filing

 

The American Dream Act Arizona initiative text, Click to read

This is the initiative text as filed with the Arizona Secretary of State’s office.   A copy of this text is attached to each petition we circulate so registered voters can read exactly what we are proposing.

The text with lines drawn through it is what we are eliminating.  Text in all capital letters is important to read as this is what we are adding.  All the other text that is in normal upper and lower case is existing constitutional law.

You may find things in the existing law that you like or dislike but we offer no opinion on it.  We are only addressing and changing property tax laws that affect US citizens aged 65 and older.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

  1. Why is this referred to as a “Retirement Tax” and why are seniors threatened?

Arizona has made ALL home ownership subject to property taxes, and gives the County an automatic lien on your property.  That means if a homeowner is DELINQUENT in paying property taxes, the County Treasurer is authorized to send out a delinquency notice and can automatically seize the property, and then conduct a tax lien sale!  Upon reaching retirement age, and without a continuing job-related income, many seniors are not able to handle ongoing financial and medical needs on a fixed income, including paying property taxes.

And once evicted, Seniors must find alternative rental housing, or move in with family in Arizona or out-of-state.  While there is a short-term process for the homeowner to pay off the delinquent taxes with interest, it still presents most Seniors with a financial challenge to come up with the money.

  1. By exempting the 65+ crowd, how will this affect any increase in property tax now for those 64 and under?

This will vary year to year and by location, just as it does when there are changes to one or more of the 9 property tax classifications with each class being treated differently for tax purposes and subject to Legislative change. (see chart below)

In many locations the change will not be noticeable.  The amount your property taxes might increase will vary year to year depending on how many seniors live within the boundaries of each of the different taxing districts (they are all different!) on your property tax bill, how many are US Citizens, and how many meet the residency qualifications to make Arizona their primary legal residence and thus pay state income taxes in Arizona.  It will change as seniors move in or out of each of the taxing districts and as people turn 65 and qualify for the exemption.

Keep in mind that property owners have repeatedly voted to increase their property taxes with the passage of bond issues and overrides for schools and county hospitals and to support the arts, to name a few, representing billions of dollars of debt and taxes.  Many of the voter approved increases result in tax bill increase significantly higher than possible increases from senior exemptions.  Helping keep seniors in their family home is surely as important as bond issues and overrides.

Whatever additional might be paid as a result of the senior exemption will usually be recouped in the first year the homeowner is 65 and exempt.

https://www.azdor.gov/sites/default/files/media/PROPERTY_AssessmentPart3Ch1.pdf

  1. How does this affect those individuals with their homes already covered in a Living Trust?

Living Trusts ARE COVERED in the proposed exemption! Living Trusts have no impact on tax liability.  Living Trusts avoid probate and expensive  probate fees while affording privacy for your financial affairs. Currently, property taxes still have to be paid by an individual even if the home is in a Living Trust.  If the taxes are not paid, the Government can still automatically seize and sell the home for delinquent taxes.

  1. How does this affect those individuals with homes worth over $5 Million dollars or more?

This Initiative does not review means or income when exempting the tax.  Many life situations may and do occur with families and extended families when and if the time comes when the senior person may have medical, family, financial, or other extenuating circumstances where someone else becomes responsible for paying the property tax.

In these times, most of us are just “1 emergency away” from a financial catastrophe!  As long as the home is still owned by the 65 or older applicant on this property, the tax will remain exempt.

  1. What happens if, one spouse outlives the significant other who was 65 or older, and the surviving spouse is under 65 year old? What happen to the tax exemption?

When the spouse who is over 65 passes away, and the home is in BOTH names, but the surviving spouse is under 65, the property tax is added back on to the home again, until that spouse reaches 65, and then the tax will be exempted again.

  1. What are the negatives about passing this Citizen Initiative?

There are No Negatives, except if one does not want to pass this Initiative to help our Seniors, then they are for HIGHER TAXES!