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Arizona Taxation

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Online Resources[edit | edit source]

None at this time

Tax money bag.jpg

Why Use Tax Records[edit | edit source]

By studying several consecutive years of tax records you may determine when a young men came of age, when individuals moved in and out of a home, or when they died leaving heirs. Authorities determined wealth (real estate, or income) to be taxed. Taxes can be for polls, real and personal estate, or schools.

Tax record content varies and may include the name and residence of the taxpayer, description of the real estate, name of original purchaser, description of personal property, number of males over 21, number of school children, slaves, and farm animals. Tax records usually are arranged by date and locality and are not normally indexed. Tax records can be used in place of missing land and census records to locate a person’s residence.

How to Use Tax Records for Arizona[edit | edit source]

County Level[edit | edit source]

Records at Arizona State Archives

State Level[edit | edit source]

The Arizona State Archives has county tax, license, and assessment rolls for many counties. Some are for a single year, and others are for consecutive years. For specifics on lists available, refer to the archives' printed Guide, cited under its listing in Arizona Archives, Libraries, and Societies.[1]

State Archives Arizona State Archives
1901 W. Madison St.
Phoenix, AZ 85009
Telephone: (602) 926-3720

Arizona State Knowledge (ASK) Center Catalog is an online catalog of available archival collections. To find county tax record collections, choose Core Collections, and then the county. Assessor and Treasurer subgroups contain the year and description of available tax records.

Tax Laws[edit | edit source]

Since 1861, the tax collector collects taxes. Previously the treasurer and later the sheriff collected taxes. Except for inheritance taxes, the tax collector collects all county taxes, including "taxes on real and personal property, schools and special districts, and business licenses. "Historically the office of tax collector was combined with the office of county treasurer and sheriff. Today it is usually with the treasurer's office."

In July of 1862, Congress passed the Internal Revenue Act to provide income for the Government to pay the public debt including Civil War costs. After the Civil War, taxes were abolished until only a tax on liquor and tobacco remained in 1883. An 1895 Supreme Court ruling declared that income tax was unconstitutional and led to the ratification of the sixteenth amendment in 1913 which states that Congress has the power to establish and collect taxes on incomes. This was the beginning of our modern day taxes.

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What history has shown us is that while property taxes are locally levied, there is significant state involvement with the amount of tax local political subdivisions can levy, how property assessments are conducted, and what services local taxing subdivisions must provide for their residents. Many of the changes the state has made in the past to lower the local property tax required a shift in financial responsibility from the local governments to the state. This comes at a cost to state taxpayers, because the state has obligations it must fund as well, with a limited amount of state tax dollars.

References[edit | edit source]