Elections

Gilbert Town Council candidates talk about property taxes

The nine Town Council candidates discuss maintaining Gilbert's secondary property tax rate or making other budget cuts to lower the rate

Posted 7/18/22

Should the town seek to maintain its secondary property tax rate on voter-approved debt of $0.99 per $100 assessed valuation, or, if you advocate reducing the rate, what cuts should the town make?

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Elections

Gilbert Town Council candidates talk about property taxes

The nine Town Council candidates discuss maintaining Gilbert's secondary property tax rate or making other budget cuts to lower the rate

Posted

Should the town seek to maintain its secondary property tax rate on voter-approved debt of $0.99 per $100 assessed valuation, or, if you advocate reducing the rate, what cuts should the town make to pay down that debt or how would you otherwise pay for it? 

Chuck Bongiovanni, co-founder and CEO of Majestic Residences Franchise Systems

"I believe we've done an adequate job keeping it low, however, we need also to consider paying down the debt whenever feasible. For example, if we collect 5% more in taxes due to property value increases, we need to look into how much we would save the taxpayers by paying off some of the debt earlier."

Bobbi Buchli, real estate broker 

"At the current time, I would advocate to keep and maintain the secondary property tax rate on voter approved debt of $0.99 per $100 assessed valuation."

Mario Chicas, account representative 

"The rate should always be under severe examination. Councilmember Hendrix asked staff to explain to the residents how they came up with the rate at the May 17, 2022 meeting. Staff was unable/unwilling to explain how the rate remains at $0.99. In absence of information, the public will form its own opinion. The opinion of the public is that officials and staff are not being honest. Let’s take a look at cutting frivolous spending and how about we stop borrowing."

Michael Clark, president of Digital Illustrations LLC & AW Sales LLC 

"I am not sure if I can answer the question the way you like. Focusing on growth and expansion always seems to answer your question. Developing strong and stable revenue is Gilbert's best friend. Reining in expenses and collecting strong revenue will not lose quality of service and quality of life. When it comes to cuts, they say, don’t cut off your nose to spite your face. You will find expense lines actually need to be increased. Gilbert needs a strong retention program for our police, fire and city employees. Retention is essential to serving Gilbert residents, businesses and visitors."

Yung Koprowski, civil engineer, council member

"Gilbert has one of the lowest tax burdens of any municipality in the Valley. We do not have a primary property tax. The secondary property tax levy can only be used to pay down General Obligation bonds approved by voters. The current rate is anticipated to be sufficient for the approved Public Safety Training Facility, Transportation and Infrastructure Bond, as well as a potential future Parks bond. I am an analytical thinker and will make data-driven decisions to keep efficient use of your tax dollars while providing comprehensive and innovative services for residents and businesses."

Bus Obayomi, management consultant

"Our secondary property tax rate is one of the lowest in the state. I will prioritize to continue to maintain the current tax rate of $0.99 per $100 assessed valuation. We have a priority to make sure we are not levying taxes for exactly what they are meant for. I am all for common sense approach and making sure we continue to maintain the high home value that we pride ourselves on."

Scott September, regional manager, council member

"Gilbert is ranked in the top quartile of best financially managed cities in America. Unlike many other cities in the Valley, we do not have a primary property tax. By law our secondary property tax can only be used for voter approved bond debt service. Gilbert has lowered its tax rate from $1.15 per $100 assessed value to $1.06 in 2015 and down to $.99 in 2019. The current rate has been set to meet the bond payment obligations of the town. To reduce the rate, at this time, would require allocating money from other tax revenue sources or jeopardize Gilbert’s ability to meet its obligations."

Bill Spence, retired U.S. Navy nuclear engineering officer

"Gilbert has a history of paying down voter-approved debt early, which has resulted in millions of dollars in interest savings and keeps our AAA bond rating. I believe that the current secondary property tax rate is appropriate so long as there is strict scrutiny on spending, and that the town continues its practice of issuing bonds only when necessary and paying bond debt down early."

Jim Torgeson, owner Mesa Sign Shop

"I am morally opposed to property taxes, but understand we are set up on a 3-legged system of public finance. That being said, the rate should always be scrutinized to be lower. You are paying tax on money you earned for a down payment, money you borrowed, and equity you don't realize until you sell. I would like to see frivolities like the group that makes the silly videos for simply entertainment purposes pared down. That's $2.4M a year right there. Our last mayor made carpool karaoke videos on the town dime. Let's borrow less."

Gilbert elections, Gilbert Town Council, Chuck Bongiovanni, Bobbi Buchli, Mario Chicas, Michael Clark, Yung Koprowski, Bus Obayomi, Scott September, Bill Spence, Jim Torgeson