Higher tax bills could soon be in the mailboxes of hundreds of thousands of Phoenix residents as the City Council prepares to vote Friday on a property-tax increase, the city's first possible rate hike in 20 years.
If approved, the increase would cost an average Phoenix homeowner about $51 more per year, or $4.25 per month, according to the city. The tax is based on property valuations from the county.
City officials said the proposed tax increase would bring in about $37 million in new revenue that's needed so the city can pay its debts for bond projects. Without that money, officials said, Phoenix would need to cut services by the same amount.
But the tax has drawn the ire of some residents and council members because Phoenix has a $60 million surplus this year, and tax revenues flowing into city accounts are at a record high.