Pinal County Updates: Fast growth, property taxes


Pinal continues to grow faster than any other Arizona county

CASA GRANDE — While Maricopa County might be making the most headlines for adding the most people over the course of a year, new data from the U.S. Census Bureau show Pinal County is again growing at a much faster rate than anywhere else in Arizona.

The new data are measured from July 2021 to July 2022, during which Pinal added an estimated 16,010 people. At a 3.6% growth rate, this marks the second consecutive year the county’s population is shown to be rising faster than any of its counterparts in Arizona. Pinal’s population is now estimated at 464,154.

As of the census of 2000, there were 179,727 people, in 2010, than number had risen to 375,770. 

Also for the second straight year, Maricopa County added more people than any county in the entire country, with a net gain of 56,831 to give it a total estimation of about 4.5 million people. That only counts for a 1.3% growth rate, however.

Pinal taking property tax case to Supreme Court


FLORENCE — Pinal County will ask the Arizona Supreme Court to consider examining a case that found the county’s way of calculating limited property value for tax purposes violates state law.

The Board of Supervisors was briefed in closed-door session Wednesday on the recent Arizona Court of Appeals ruling, and later voted in the open meeting to appeal to the Supreme Court. Yavapai County, which the appeals court also ruled against in a similar case, will petition the Supreme Court following a vote of its board as well.

Pinal was sued for how it valued properties in 2018, and Yavapai was sued for values calculated in 2019. The Arizona Tax Court ruled in favor of the counties; because both cases raised the same legal issue, the appeals court consolidated them and ruled for the taxpayer plaintiffs on March 16.

At issue was the counties’ “Rule B” ratios for figuring limited property value on properties that changed due to new construction, demolition or a change in use. The plaintiffs argued the Rule B ratios applied to their properties were greater than the Rule B ratios for other properties in the same classification.

But Pinal County Assessor Douglas Wolf and Chief Deputy Assessor John Ellinwood said the distinction is allowed under state statute and accounts for Pinal’s different market areas. They further said it would be costly to process refunds, many of which would be small. The law firm bringing the action, Mooney, Moore and Wright are notorious for bringing lawsuits based on arcane and abstruse legal theories in property tax law.

On Thursday, Pinal County Attorney Kent Volkmer said the county has retained outside counsel to present its case, but he couldn’t comment further at this time.

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