Maricopa County supervisors last week raised the property tax rate for fiscal 2012, but officials said a drop in property values should keep most residential tax bills at or near current levels.

The 18% increase to $1.24 per $100 of net assessed value will be mostly offset by a 15.3% decrease in home valuations.

The increased rate will also be levied by the county's flood and library districts.

The value of the average home in the county, which includes Phoenix and Scottsdale, fell to $124,500 from $147,000 in 2010.

Total property tax revenues are expected to fall by $21.7 million in fiscal 2012 due to the decline in property values.

Total revenues from the property tax are estimated at $559.7 million, down from $580.7 million in fiscal 2011.

The county expects property tax revenues to fall to $477.5 million in fiscal 2012, down from $492.2 million in fiscal 2011.

Flood control revenues are estimated at $62.4 million, a $5.6 million drop from fiscal 2011. The library district will receive $19.1 million, down from $20.5 million.

Assessed valuations in the county fell from $49.68 billion in fiscal 2010 to $46.84 billion currently.

County officials expect values to fall to $38.49 billion in fiscal 2012 and continue declining due to depreciation and the lack of new construction before bottoming out at $30 billion in fiscal 2015.

Supervisors in June adopted a $2.3 billion operating budget for fiscal 2012, which began July 1.

Maricopa County's $153 million of outstanding lease revenue debt is rated AAA by Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings.

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