Incorporated municipalities also levy separate transaction privilege and sales taxes.
The Arizona Department of Revenue collects city privilege taxes for most of the state’s municipalities. These are known as program cities.
As of January 2017, businesses must file all their transaction privilege taxes with the state revenue department. Previously taxpayers with activity in what are known as non-program cities would file with that city and with the state office. Separate city returns for current activity are not required.
Nonprogram cities, however, collect their own taxes, and sales must be reported directly to the applicable city officials.
Personal and real property taxes
Property tax in Arizona is assessed and administered in each individual county by the county assessor with the exception of centrally valued properties such as airlines, railroads and mines. Property taxes are paid to the county, not the state revenue department. You can get more information on your property taxes from your county.
Tax jurisdictions set tax rates on the basis of the total assessed valuation within their boundaries and the amount of the levy to be raised. Total tax rates may vary considerably from one area to another.
Personal property includes property used for commercial, industrial, residential and agricultural purposes. It also includes improvements on possessory rights (IPRs) and certain leasehold improvements. Personal property is subject to property tax, except for inventory of a manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer, as well as livestock, personal household goods, and certain other specifically exempted items.
Owner-occupied residential properties are valued by local assessors using one of two methods: Replacement cost new less depreciation or sales analysis. Each assessor selects which method to use based upon technical considerations such as the accuracy of each method for that area and the number of sales available for analysis.
Arizona also taxes personal property, which is defined as all types of property except real estate. Taxable personal property includes property used for commercial, industrial or agricultural purposes. Personal property is considered to be movable and not permanently attached to real estate.
Personal property taxes are due Oct. 1. If the tax amount is over $100, half is due Oct. 1, and the remainder is due the following March 1. Half of the amount of the taxes that are unpaid are delinquent after Nov. 1 and the remaining half that is unpaid is delinquent after May 1.
In lieu of a personal property tax on automobiles, the state imposes an annual vehicle license tax, or VLT, which is based on an assessed value of 60 percent of the manufacturer’s base retail price reduced by 16.25 percent for each year since the vehicle was first registered in Arizona.
For additional information on this tax, you can call the Arizona Department of Transportation’s vehicle license division: (602) 255-0072 in the Phoenix area, (520) 629-9808 in the Tucson area and (800) 251-5866 elsewhere in Arizona.
Inheritance and estate taxes
For estates of individuals who died after 2004, Arizona no longer imposes an estate tax.
The state also does not impose an inheritance or gift tax.