Anna Camacho

Anna Camacho

La Paz County Assessor

La Paz County Assessor Anna Camacho was the only county department head to make a major presentation at a Board of Supervisors’ budget work session June 10. Camacho said she needed more personnel, higher wages for the employees, and better use of technology for her office to properly do its job.

As an example, Camacho said the Arizona Department of Revenue recommends a county the size of La Paz should have a minimum of eight employees:  seven appraisers and one full-time clerk. She said they currently have five employees, which is an improvement over when she entered office, when they only had three. She said the office has only one Appraiser certified by the Department of Revenue.

Camacho said being understaffed creates a stressful work environment and excessive workloads. She added it may result in errors. The stressful conditions lead to a high turnover in employees.

As for salaries, Camacho provided figures that show a starting appraiser in La Paz County will receive $29,515 per year. In Graham County, that figure is $31,954. In Mohave County, it’s $35,924 and it’s $33,114 in Yuma County.

The low wages are one reason why her office is not seeing qualified candidates apply for positions when they are open, Camacho said.

“I’d like to see the starting salary at least at the level of Yuma County,” she said. “We also need job fairs so we can find qualified recruits.”

One new technology Camacho said the county needs to use is Pictometry, which uses overflights by aircraft to help find improvements to properties and other items that could be appraised for property taxes. She said Mohave County has used it since 2018, and they have located and identified $46 million in full cash value improvements and $16 million in limited cash value improvements.

Thanks to Pictometry, Camacho said Mohave County appraisers were worked 3.9 times the number of parcels they worked in 2017.

Camacho told the Supervisors that three flights from Pictometry would cost $337,854, which could be paid with annual payments of $37,000 for nine years.

District 3 Supervisor Holly Irwin asked about a project to inventory the wells in La Paz County so they may be included on the tax rolls. Camacho replied the money had been set aside for the project, but they didn’t have enough certified appraisers to do the work.

“Are those wells on the tax rolls?” Irwin asked.

“No,” Camacho replied. “We had turnover and we didn’t have certified appraisers.”

Camacho said the solution for the coming fiscal year was to increase the number of employees at the Assessor’s Office, increase the salaries to the level of Yuma County, increase training and payment for training, and use Pictometry.

Her office has been steadily updating its mapping and database, Camacho said. She noted 911 depends on the Assessor’s site addressing as being reliable for emergency dispatch. She added that many government entities and the public use their database for information about the county.

The new fiscal year begins July 1.

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(3) comments

outback

"Pictometry would cost $337,854, which could be paid with annual payments of $37,000 for nine years."

Many homes in La Paz County can be described as indigent housing, yet they're valued as affluent housing. The assessor has trailer houses without skirting assessed at a rate that costs many homeowners as much as $1,500 annually. If the assessor would be accurate with valuation, whatever gain can be made from pictometry would be more than offset by re-evaluating overvalued properties.

And the idea of financing pictometry is as ridiculous as consumers who carry credit card balances that in reality double the cost of every purchase they make.

La Paz County is not Yuma County. If employees want to be paid Yuma wages, let them move to Yuma.

bgarcia

Please see the statute below, specifically section C. The Assessor is simply trying to do her job and what she was elected to do. You are correct, their may be thousands of properties that are incorrectly valued right now (low or high) due to staff shortages and lack of technology and that is what she is trying to fix. Pictometry is used by over 1800 jurisdictions across the US and this type of proven patent aerial technology allows the Assessor to be accurate and fair and equitable, which ultimately equalizes the tax base and very quickly. Ten out of fifteen counties in Arizona are successfully leveraging this technology to be more accurate, more efficient, and in this day and age, to limit social contact with the public. This technology can also be used by the other departments such as public safety, 911, public works, planning and zoning and emergency management.This is a no brainer for the County and its citizens.

In regards to your financing comment; have you seen the actual payment terms of the agreement? From what I understand, this company offers payment terms with no interest. They break up each project and allow the County to pay equal installments over the life of the contract. They also include a non appropriation clause in the agreement in the event the County does not have funding for the remaining projects. No penalties associated when exercising this clause.

Albert Einstein is widely credited with saying, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results." The Assessor is trying to break this cycle and better serve the constituents of La Paz County!

AZ Revised Statutes - Title 42- Taxation

42-13051. Duties of county assessor

A. Not later than December 15 of each year the county assessor shall identify by diligent inquiry and examination all real property in the county that is subject to taxation and that is not otherwise valued by the department as provided by law.

B. The assessor shall:

1. Determine the names of all persons who own, claim, possess or control the property, including properties subject to the government property lease excise tax pursuant to chapter 6, article 5 of this title.

2. Determine the full cash value of all such property as of January 1 of the next year by using the manuals furnished and procedures prescribed by the department.

3. List the property with the determined valuation for use on the tax roll and report to the department of education the determined valuations of properties that are subject to the government property lease excise tax pursuant to chapter 6, article 5 of this title.

C. In identifying property pursuant to this section, the assessor shall use aerial photography, applicable department of revenue records, building permits and other documentary sources and technology.

sam whittemore

how about since la paz is looked at as nothing more than a playground for californians and snowbirds by those 2 groups, and those of us who actually live here are just the caretakers for them, we start taxing them more? let them pay for most of the tax bill. the avereage income for a la paz county resident is pretty dang low, compared to those who come here. give residents a card like CRIT has, and those who don't have the magic kingdom card gotta pay the juice. likewise with property tax rates. the hi dollar rv's, diesel pick ups and boats are worth more than the assessed valuation of the housing in this county. oh, then we can move on to the yuma college tax scam too. there. fixed it for ya.

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