The State Board of Tax Appeals (Board) was established as a separate agency in 1967, independent of the Department of Revenue, to “hear and decide all appeals from decisions of the Department of Revenue” (Laws 1967, Chapter 107). Statutory authority is found at A.R.S.§§42-1251 et seq.
The Board hears appeals filed by taxpayers and Arizona municipalities concerning income, transaction privilege (sales), use, luxury and estate taxes.
The Board consists of three members, selected for their knowledge and experience in taxation. The members are appointed by the Governor for a six year term and may not serve more than two terms. The Board handles “all matters entrusted by law to it dealing with income taxation, estate taxation, transaction privilege, use and luxury taxation and any other taxation assigned to it by law and shall hear and decide appeals from the department of revenue on such matters” (A.R.S.§42-1252).
Appeals to the Board may be filed by a person aggrieved by a final decision or order of the Department of Revenue. The notice of appeal must be filed within thirty days after the decision or order from which the appeal is taken has become final (A.R.S.§42-1253). If the Department of Revenue or a taxpayer is aggrieved by the decision of the Board, the party may file an action in Tax Court (A.R.S.§42-1254).
The Board began as the State Board of Equalization, then became the State Board of Property Tax Appeals, and finally became the State Board of Tax Appeals in 1974. The State Board of Equalization was later recreated in 1994 as a separate entity.
Laws 1912, Chapter 23 created the State Tax Commission comprised of three members appointed by the Governor “to have and exercise general supervision of the system of taxation throughout the State”. Subsequent members of the State Tax Commission were elected. The same year the Legislature created the State Board of Equalization, consisting of the state auditor, the chairman of the Corporation Commission, and the members of the State Tax Commission. The State Board of Equalization was had the responsibility to examine assessments and equalize the rate of assessment throughout the state. Laws 1912, Chapter 31
Laws 1913, Third Special Session, Chapter 71 further described the powers and duties of the State Board of Equalization. These provisions were codified in the 1913 Civil Code at §§ 4834, et seq. which set the valuation and assessment of property in the state, and was part of the State Tax Commission. The State Tax Commission investigated complaints and determined if the current system was unequal or oppressive (Civil Code, 1913 §§4820 et seq.).
Laws 1967, Chapter 107 repealed the State Board of Equalization, and established the State Board of Property Tax Appeals, with the power to “equalize the valuation of all property throughout the state.” This Board was independent of the State Tax Commission and the State Department of Property Valuation.
Laws 1973, Chapter 123 established the Department of Revenue and gave it the powers and duties of the Department of Property Valuation, Estate Tax Commissioner, and some powers of the State Tax Commission. This legislation also repealed the State Board of Property Tax Appeals and established State Board of Tax Appeals as an independent agency, separate from the Department of Revenue and the State Tax Commission. The State Board of Tax Appeals assumed the functions of the State Board of Property Tax Appeals and served as an appellate board for other taxes. Additionally, the Board of Tax Appeals was authorized to equalize the valuation of all property in the state, and to hear and decide all appeals from decisions of the Department of Revenue. Finally, this legislation established the Tax Advisory Council. This law was effective on July 1, 1974.
Laws 1994, Chapter 323 reestablished the State Board of Equalization as an independent agency, not subject to either the Department of Revenue or the State Board of Tax Appeals.
Laws 1997, Chapter 150 recodified the state tax code and transferred the tax appeals sections of the law to the new Title 42, Chapter 1, Article 6 and renumbered the relevant sections as A.R.S.§§42-1251 et seq.
Laws 2018, Chapter 218 modified the process for a person to file a tax appeal, except in the case of individual income taxes, imposed by the Department of Revenue. A person may bypass the hearing process before the Office of Administrative Hearings and either appeal to the State Board of Tax Appeals or bring an action in tax court (effective retroactively to January 1, 2017). The measure also modified statutory provisions relating to authorized disclosure of confidential information. Certain changes relating to disclosure of confidential information, enacted in 2017 and further amended by this measure, was conditional on passage of Proposition 305 on the 2018 general election ballot related to empowerment scholarship accounts, which failed.
- A.R.S.§§42-1251 et seq.
- Arizona Administrative Code §§R16-3-101 et seq.
- Civil Code, 1913 §§4820 et seq. and §§4834 et seq.
- Session Laws
- Laws 1912, Chapter 23 and Chapter 31
- Laws 1913, 3rd Special Session, Chapter 71
- See 1913 Civil Code, §§4820, et seq. and §§4834, et seq.
- Laws 1967, Chapter 107
- Laws 1973, Chapter 123
- Laws 1994, Chapter 323
- Laws 1997, Chapter 150
- Laws 2018, Chapter 218
Master List of State Programs
Related collections at Arizona State Archives
- Record Group 80 – State Tax Commission
- Record Group 84 – Territorial Board of Equalization
- Record Group 169 – Department of Revenue
- Record Group 192 – Board of Tax Appeals
- Record Group 196 – Arizona Board of Appraisal
- Manuscript Group 78 – Arizona Tax Research Association