Annexation Effective Date DELAYED
A challenge regarding the Encanterra annexation has been filed with Pinal County Superior Court by the “Encanterra Residents Against Annexation.”
The effective date of the annexation is being delayed until a decision is rendered by the Court.
Rural Metro and Pinal County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) will continue providing emergency services to Encanterra until the annexation is effective.
A new annexation effective date is to be determined, based on the decision by the Court. The Town is working to oppose the challenge and to encourage a prompt decision. Contests (challenges) are given priority over all other civil cases, except election actions.
Services impacted once annexation is effective
- Queen Creek Fire & Medical Department (QCFMD) will be the fire and medical service provider.
- Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) District 6 will be the law enforcement provider.
- Queen Creek Town Council will be your representatives at the municipal level.
- Subscriptions to Rural Metro will no longer be needed once the annexation is effective. Contact Rural Metro for their cancellation process (480.627.6200). The Town's dedicated property tax for public safety will be on your October 2020 property tax bill; however QCFMD will begin providing services when the annexation is effective.
Services that will remain in place
- Trash/recycling services will continue as is until the transition onto Town services. After the transition onto Town trash/recycling services, Encanterra residents will be billed monthly, which will be included on their Town water bill.
- The sewer provider will remain Johnson Utilities.
- The water provider will remain the Town of Queen Creek.
- Pinal County Board of Supervisors will remain the representation at the county level.
- School districts are not impacted by annexations.
- Zip codes will not change, they are set by the U.S. Postal Service. Residents are welcome to begin using the Queen Creek mailing address, but are not required to do so.
- June 2018: Annexation process officially began
- December 2018: Public hearing held, all property owners notified at least six days prior
- December 2018: Blank petitions provided to residents of Encanterra
- December 2018 – September 2019: Residents of Encanterra circulated petitions – 50% plus 1 in favor & 50% property valuation required to move forward
- October 2019: Town of Queen Creek and Pinal County verified signatures and property valuation
- October 2019: Queen Creek Town Council voted on annexation ordinance
- November 2019: Annexation contested - new effective date pending decision rendered by Pinal County Superior Court
Town of Queen Creek Property Tax - Dedicated to Public Safety
The Town has a property tax that can only be used for public safety (fire and law enforcement); property owners pay $1.95 per $100 of assessed valuation to Queen Creek (assessed valuation of homes in Encanterra is determined by Pinal County). This property tax will replace any current Rural Metro subscription you may be paying. Any taxes assessed by the county, school districts and other agencies will remain effective.
The Town's public safety includes:
Access to the Automatic Aid System (automatic aid system is the interagency agreement that allows the closest engine to respond to an emergency regardless of location)
Four fire stations (with a fifth under construction, anticipated to open fall 2020)
Queen Creek’s police team is the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (Queen Creek recently built a new, law enforcement headquarters in Town Center)
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office serves as Queen Creek’s police provider. Through the Town’s contract with MCSO, there is a substation (police station) in Town with deputies assigned to serve Queen Creek. The substation has a dedicated MCSO captain that serves as Queen Creek’s police chief. As of annexation effective date, MCSO District 6 will be the primary provider for law enforcement services for residents in Encanterra. When assistance or support is needed, surrounding law enforcement agencies help respond to the situation, including Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.
Property Tax Calculator
Queen Creek’s property tax is based on the assessed valuation of your home, determined by Pinal County Assessor.
To calculate how much you will pay for Queen Creek’s property tax, download the calculator below, select the "enable edit" button highlighted in yellow and follow the instructions. Queen Creek’s property tax for public safety will replace any current subscription you may be paying for Rural Metro.
Town of Queen Creek Rates & Services
The Town’s rate for trash and recycling service is $16.22 per month. The service includes weekly, same day trash/recycling collection, a monthly bulk pick up (must be scheduled in advance), special collection events and household hazardous waste disposal. Town collection services will replace any current trash and recycling fees after the current contract is complete.
Encanterra currently receives water from the Town of Queen Creek, and will continue to do so. Water rates and fees are based on usage and meter size; a breakdown of the rates and fees is available online at QueenCreek.org/Water. A rate study is completed prior to raising water rates. It is not typical to raise rates within one area and not another, as the study looks at the utility as a whole.
The Town of Queen Creek’s sales tax rate is 2.25% (the State is 5.6 and County is 1.1 in Pinal and .8 in Maricopa). Sales tax is charged on products not services.
Examples of include:
Internet and cable TV are considered services. However, if you rent equipment such as a cable box you would pay the sales tax on the amount of the equipment rental fee and not on the cable or internet service part of your bill. You may or may not see it broken out on your bill.
Landlines, cell phones and gas are considered products, so you would be taxed at the 2.25%.
Queen Creek’s Town Council, local elected officials, make decisions on rate structures, fees and building policies. These local elected officials are accountable to the voters of the Town of Queen Creek and provide opportunities for your input. All Town Council meetings and studies are publicly available.
Queen Creek's Budget
Each year, the Town of Queen Creek is required to pass a balanced budget. The Town's budget operates on a fiscal year (FY), from July 1 through June 30. The priorities of the current budget, FY19/20, include a focus on new and improved roadways, public safety and new water/wastewater infrastructure.
A snapshot of the Town's adopted FY19/20 budget is provided below. For additional information about the Town's budget, visit QueenCreek.org/Budget.
Historically, the Town of Queen Creek’s philosophy for residential and commercial annexations has been for the property owners to initiate discussions. Roadways and necessary right-of-way have been approached differently as the Town did not include any roadways when it incorporated in 1989 and acquiring land is often necessary to accomplish roadway improvements. Maricopa and Pinal counties often require the Town to annex roadways as part of joint projects. Having the Town annex the roads provides faster maintenance and local control.
Legally, a majority of the property owners in the defined area must be in favor of annexation, in addition to a majority of property value, for an area to be annexed by the Town. Once the necessary number of supporters have been submitted to the Town, the Town Council considers six criteria when voting to bring the property into the Town, keeping in mind annexation is making a commitment to provide services, which come at a cost:
Financial: Analysis of fiscal impact to the Town including one-time and recurring revenues and expenses.
Economic Development: Potential for desired growth; job creation in targeted clusters and opportunities identified in the Town’s Economic Development Strategic Plan.
Civic: Growth of our political subdivision, civic pride, and sense of community.
Planning and Building: Impacts to the Town land use program; parks, trails and open space program; surrounding properties; extent of compliant/non-compliant structures.
Public Safety: Impacts to existing program; demand for new services.
Legal: Considerations for successful annexation; identification of required process and procedures.
Annexations require a simple majority, or a vote of four council members, for approval by the Town Council. An application for annexation can be downloaded from the Town’s website, and can be submitted at any time.
According to the State law, once an annexation has officially started, annexation signatures must be obtained within one year of the last day of the waiting period. Annexation petitions must be signed by property owners, the State law does not allow for ballots or mail-in ballots.
For a full list of the annexation steps and requirements, outlined in ARS 9-471, visit AZLeg.gov.
Pre Development Annexation Agreement with Shea
Summary of Agreement Terms
PADA: Town and Shea concur that an agreement is in the best the collective best interests including the existing residents to ensure the Encanterra Master Plan develops in accordance with the original vision.
PADA: The agreement ensures that Shea is not unduly paying the Town for infrastructure that it has already paid for in Pinal County
Benefits of the Agreement
The Pre-Annexation Development Agreement (PADA) provides for the development of the Encanterra community to occur as part of the Town's municipal service area following annexation.
For Shea Homes and Encanterra residents, the agreement and annexation provides:
- High quality service from the Queen Creek Fire & Medical Department and Maricopa County Sheriff's Office District 6.
- Quality water assurance for both water service to homes and groundwater for the community.
- Planning and zoning regulations that are consistent with the Queen Creek design standards.
- Maintenance of arterial roadways surrounding the Encanterra community
- For the Town of Queen Creek, the proposed agreement and annexation provides:
Perpetual rights for reclaimed water, which enhances the sustainability of regional water for the community at large
- Perpetual rights for reclaimed water, which enhances the sustainability of regional water for the community at large.
More About the Town of Queen Creek
The Town of Queen Creek was incorporated in 1989. The Town strives to honor the past, manage the present and embrace the future. To learn more about the Town’s history, watch the Town’s 25th anniversary video, From Rittenhouse to the QC.
Every 10 years, Queen Creek residents vote on the Town’s General Plan. Queen Creek’s General Plan serves as the Town's road map to guide development, manage growth, and conserve natural resources.
The current General Plan was approved by voters in 2018.
The General Plan also integrates existing strategic plans including:
The Town’s Economic Development Department actively promotes commercial sites for new development for areas located within the Town boundaries. Town Center continues to see improvements, like Picket Post Square, and welcome new businesses! To learn about the new businesses coming to Queen Creek, visit QueenCreek.org/NewBusinesses.
Queen Creek offers unique agritainment destinations, creating agricultural experiences. Schnepf Farms offers a U pick garden, hayrides and events throughout the year. The Queen Creek Olive Mill is the only working olive mill in Arizona and provides tours, delicious food and a great atmosphere. Sossaman Farms is in the process of developing a new Heritage Corner that will complement Hayden Flour Mill, currently housed on the farm. Recognizing the importance of these areas, and in an effort to support them, the Town adopted an agritainment zoning district.
The Town hosts a series of signature events throughout the year, in addition to Town sponsored and community events. Events provide a positive social experience, bringing friends and neighbors together. To learn more about upcoming events happening in Queen Creek, visit QueenCreek.org/SpecialEvents.