Sunnyside to sue Pima County over tax dispute

2013-11-14T00:00:00Z Sunnyside to sue Pima County over tax disputeBy Jamar Younger Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

The Sunnyside Unified School District Governing Board has unanimously approved a decision to sue Pima County over taxes on some land the district owns near Gallego Basic Elementary School.

The district placed the vacant land, near South Palo Verde and East Valencia roads, in a trust in order to satisfy code compliance and permit issues when Gallego was under construction, district Chief Financial Officer Hector Encinas said Tuesday night.

The school, 6200 Hemisphere Place, moved to the current building in 2006, according to the district.

As a result, the county began charging property taxes and threatened to sell the land if the district didn’t pay the money, Encinas said.

In August, the Pima County Treasurer’s Office sent two notices saying the delinquent taxes needed to be paid by Sept. 3, he said.

The county threatened to sell the property in February 2014 if the district didn’t pay the taxes, although school district property is usually exempt from property taxes.

Sunnyside paid the money, about $54,462, but will seek to recoup that amount in Pima County Superior Court.

The land was exempt from taxes as of 2006, but the county might have made a mistake between 2007 and 2009, said Ed Abrigo, a division manager with the Pima County Assessor’s Office.

County officials already issued tax-roll corrections to clear up errors made between 2010 and 2012, Abrigo said.

The county treasurer’s and assessor’s offices are aware of the issue, he said.

Contact reporter Jamar Younger at or 573-4242. On Twitter: @JamarYounger

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