GILBERT, AZ - Homeowners in parts of Gilbert and Mesa can expect to pay a lot more in property taxes this year.
The property tax rate in the Gilbert Public Schools district jumped a whopping 40% over the previous year.
Over the summer, GPS' Governing Board approved this year's budget.
But few homeowners realized the impact of that vote until they recently received their property tax bill in the mail.
"I think it's getting to the point of being ludicrous," said Gilbert homeowner Jim Warburton.
Homeowners such as Warburton will pay $2 more in property taxes this year for every $100 of a home's assessed value.
It's the largest tax rate hike in the district since the early 1980s.
Warburton calls the increase excessive. "It's way overboard," he said. "I think there's other avenues they could explore to come up with revenues elsewhere."
A district spokesperson tells ABC15 the unusually high increase came from not having a rate hike last year even though one was needed.
Unlike Warburton, however, other Gilbert homeowners say they don't mind paying more in taxes.
"I don't have a problem with it," said Chris Torres. "I'd rather see them keep the schools up to par and pay the teachers and get them to stay."
In fact, this year's budget does reflect a 2% pay raise for teachers which parents say will ultimately make for better schools.
"I feel it's a benefit for our kids," said parent Frances Stinnett. "We have a very good district here and we need it."
The district's spokesperson called this year's 40% hike an anomaly and that homeowners shouldn't expect such a dramatic increase in the future.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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