If you read The Skinny in last week’s Tucson Weekly, you’d know that Mari Herreras broke the story that Republican Joe Higgins, who is challenging Pima County Supervisor Ann Day, was running a commercial trash-hauling business out of a home that he had listed as owner-occupied residential on the property-tax rolls. That translates into a property-tax savings of more than 50 percent and allowed him to take advantage of a special tax rebate for homeowners who aren’t renting out their homes.
We have to thank Mark Kimble of the Tucson Citizen for bringing up the story on KUAT-TV’s Arizona Illustrated last week in the debate between Day and Higgins. The mainstream media often ignores TW’s reporting, so it was great to see Kimble step up and acknowledge the importance of our investigation.
Day took advantage of the exchange to take some shots at her opponent. She also mentioned another story broken by TW and ScrambleWatch: Higgins’ failure to vote in most primaries, city elections and bond elections over the last two decades.
KUAT has been posting the debates online, so if you missed it, you can see it here.
Higgins has responded with press releases downplaying the property-tax mix-up and accusing Day of going negative.
Here’s Mari Herreras’ original piece from last week’s Skinny:
When Republican Joe Higgins first announced his campaign against Pima County Supervisor Ann Day for her District 1 seat in the upcoming Sept. 2 GOP primary, the Tucson businessman said he was inspired to run because of the rising property taxes.
Those high tax bills might explain why Higgins is running his commercial trash-hauling business out of a property that he has listed as “owner-occupied residential” with the Pima County Assessor’s Office.
In 2006, when Higgins bought the property at 1520 N. 15th Ave., along with a vacant lot next door where he parks his garbage trucks, he indicated on documents filed with the county that the house would remain owner-occupied.
That netted him a nice savings of more than 50 percent on the property-tax bill, because he was able to keep the residential tax rate and enjoy a special education tax rebate Continue reading