Mohave County Assessor’s Office Receives Prestigious Summit Award

Published by The Bee News

November 19, 2021

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MOHAVE COUNTY, AZ (November 19, 2021) – Earlier this month, the Arizona Association of Counties(AACA) hosted its 2021 Annual Conference at the Sheraton Crescent by Marriot in Phoenix. During the event, the Mohave County Assessor’s office received the AACA Summit Award for Valuing Deep Water Wells.  County Assessor Jeanne Kentch proudly accepted the award at the Phoenix event. She also says “Our Deep Well Valuation project was a success in the making. 2019 was the first year our Deep water well values were included on the tax roll.”

Mohave County implemented a deep ground water well valuation project that included Real Property and Business Personal Property valuations for new farms.  This was born out of the community’s desire to protect its future ground water availability in the Hualapai water basin of Mohave County and the Assessor’s desire to equitably distribute the burden of taxation. The Assessors Department commenced with the difficult task of valuing deep ground water wells in the newly developed farms north of Kingman.

To date, 161 wells have been added, and added approximately $2,173,500 in Mohave County yearly tax revenue. The revenue was not the only positive results after our values were implemented. California nut farmers, for example, started the transition to Arizona because of the water woes in the Delta. The cost of water in the west was not allowing the farmers to make a profit farming nuts. These farmers quickly scooped up the available land from these foreign investors. Compared to the cost and risk associated with the water in California, the relatively small deep water well tax liability made it an easy decision for them to move.

Kentch says, “for the community it is a win/win. Not only did they have additional taxpayers, keeping their slice of the pie smaller, but farming nut trees consume only 1/3 the water as farming alfalfa. We think this project has allowed a win for all involved.”

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