MODERATOR RICH DUBEK: And our first speaker on the pro side of 117 is Kevin McCarthy, president of the Arizona Tax Research Association. Mr. McCarthy, you also have two minutes.
MR. KEVIN McCARTHY: The Arizona Tax Research Association is a statewide taxpayer organization that has represented and protected Arizona property taxpayers for 72 years. We are grateful for the bipartisan support that we've received in the Legislature to refer Prop 117 to the ballot.
Arizona is infamous for having one of the most complicated property tax systems in the country. Outside of those who are paid to administer that system or those who profit from its complexity, very few Arizonans understand our complex system.
From predictability to stability to transparency, it fails almost every criteria for judging a tax system. Prop 117 will simplify this system, as well as protect Arizona taxpayers from unlimited tax increases associated with rapid growth in the real estate market. One unique and unnecessary feature of our tax system is that we have two taxable values that even the most sophisticated taxpayers can't understand.
Prop 117 will simplify this system by reducing the taxable values from two to one simply understood value. Another particularly negative feature of our system is it lacks any annual limit in the growth of property values. Prop 117 addresses this problem by putting a 5 percent annual cap on the growth of taxable values.
The lack of any current limit on taxable values unfairly exposes taxpayers to significant tax increases when the real estate market surges. In fact, in the middle part of the last decade, many Arizonans saw significant tax increases when they received a 60 percent increase in their taxable value from the County Assessor in one single year. Prop 117's 5 percent limit will protect taxpayers from those local governments that ride the natural growth in the real estate market to major tax increases. A 5 percent limit on one taxable property is good --
MODERATOR RICH DUBEK: Time is up.
MR. KEVIN McCARTHY: -- policy for Arizona taxpayers, and I strongly support -- encourage your support for Prop 117. Thank you.
MODERATOR RICH DUBEK: Thank you very much.