Arizona Taxation

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Online Resources[edit | edit source]

None at this time

Tax money bag.jpg

Why Use Tax Records[edit | edit source]

By studying several consecutive years of tax records you may determine when a young men came of age, when individuals moved in and out of a home, or when they died leaving heirs. Authorities determined wealth (real estate, or income) to be taxed. Taxes can be for polls, real and personal estate, or schools.

Tax record content varies and may include the name and residence of the taxpayer, description of the real estate, name of original purchaser, description of personal property, number of males over 21, number of school children, slaves, and farm animals. Tax records usually are arranged by date and locality and are not normally indexed. Tax records can be used in place of missing land and census records to locate a person’s residence.

How to Use Tax Records for Arizona[edit | edit source]

County Level[edit | edit source]

Records at Arizona State Archives

State Level[edit | edit source]

The Arizona State Archives has county tax, license, and assessment rolls for many counties. Some are for a single year, and others are for consecutive years. For specifics on lists available, refer to the archives' printed Guide, cited under its listing in Arizona Archives, Libraries, and Societies.[1]

Arizona State Archives
1901 W. Madison St.
Phoenix, AZ 85009
Telephone: (602) 926-3720

Arizona State Knowledge (ASK) Center Catalog is an online catalog of available archival collections. To find county tax record collections, choose Core Collections, and then the county. Assessor and Treasurer subgroups contain the year and description of available tax records.

Tax Laws[edit | edit source]

Since 1861, the tax collector collects taxes. Previously the treasurer and later the sheriff collected taxes. Except for inheritance taxes, the tax collector collects all county taxes, including "taxes on real and personal property, schools and special districts, and business licenses. "Historically the office of tax collector was combined with the office of county treasurer and sheriff. Today it is usually with the treasurer's office."

Abraham Lincoln instituted the income tax in 1862, and on July 1, 1862, Congress passed the Internal Revenue Act, creating the Bureau of Internal Revenue (later renamed to the Internal Revenue Service). This act was intended to “provide Internal Revenue to support the Government and to pay interest on the Public Debt.” Instituted in the height of the Civil War, the “Public Debt” at the time primarily consisted of war expenses. For the Southern States that were part of the Confederate side of the Civil War, once Union troops took over parts of the Southern States, income tax were instituted on them. [2]

  • To learn more about this Collection click here
  • To learn more about the Civil War taxes click here


What history has shown us is that while property taxes are locally levied, there is significant state involvement with the amount of tax local political subdivisions can levy, how property assessments are conducted, and what services local taxing subdivisions must provide for their residents. This comes at a cost to state taxpayers, because the state has obligations it must fund as well, with a limited amount of state tax dollars.

References[edit | edit source]