Queen Creek has the highest property tax rate in the East Valley, and soon people shopping there will pay one of the highest sales tax rates in the East Valley.
Starting Monday, Queen Creek’s sales tax rate will increase by a 0.25 percentage point, bringing the towncharged sales tax to 2.25 percent. After adding state and Maricopa County sales taxes, those who shop in Queen Creek will pay 8.55 percent, or 8.55 cents per dollar, in sales tax.
Nearby Chandler and Gilbert have 1.5 percent sales tax rates. Apache Junction’s rate is 2.2 percent, Mesa’s is 1.75 percent and Tempe’s is 1.8 percent. Queen Creek is only topped by Guadalupe and Carefree’s 3 percent tax rate, Cave Creek’s 2.5 percent and Fountain Hills’ 2.6 percent.
Queen Creek Chamber of Commerce President Vince Davis said chamber leaders are working to get the word out about the sales tax increase to local businesses through fliers, e-mails and in-person visits.
“It’s incredibly important for the business community to have all of the information,” he said. “In the end, they (business owners) need to collect the correct tax upfront so they don’t get shortchanged in the end.”
As for the tax increase affecting local shopping habits, a quarter-cent increase isn’t going to make a large difference and can improve life in Queen Creek, Davis said.
“I don’t think that being on the high end of the tax scale is necessarily a bad thing,” he said. “The quality of life can be improved if the taxes are used properly. It’s going to give the town government funding they need to have to build infrastructure the town desperately needs.”
The sales tax increase, approved by the Town Council, is part of a funding package to help pay for fire, emergency medical and law enforcement services.
Queen Creek resident Lucy Kartchner said public safety is important and she hopes the increase in sales tax will help improve the response from emergency services in town. “It’s such a minor exchange for what we could get,” she said.
In May, voters approved a second component to the funding package — the town’s first primary property tax at $1.95 per $100 of assessed valuation. Coupled with the Queen Creek Unified School District’s property tax rate, property taxes for residents there are the highest in the East Valley.
Also starting Monday, sales tax paid by homebuilders on new home construction will increase by a 0.25 percentage point for a total sales tax of 4.25 percent.
For more information about the town’s taxes, call Queen Creek controller Yolanda Bracamonte at (480) 358-3170 or e-mail yolanda.bracamonte@ queencreek.org.