Phoenix at a Glance
As the sixth largest city in the United States, Phoenix is always a stop for nationally known musical and theatrical acts, and you would be hard-pressed to find a site for spectator sports that is livelier. If you find excitement in more natural settings, perpetual good weather provides the perfect backdrop to explore and enjoy the beautiful desert in bloom, the majestic views of mountains, as well as sunsets and sunrises unmatched in vividness. A strong number of long-standing religious establishments as well as numerous well-respected institutions of secondary and postsecondary education combine with a cost of living that is 7.7 percent less than the national average to make Phoenix one of the most inviting metropolitan locations in the United States to make your new home.

HISTORY
The region presently known as the Phoenix metropolitan area was inhabited by a tribal civilization as early as the first century C.E. These ancient people built a substantial and wide-reaching system of irrigation canals that helped sustain their agricultural society for several hundred years. It is still unknown exactly how the tribe came to vanish, but a prolonged drought is thought by many to be the cause. Hundreds of years later, nomadic Native Americans came across the ruins of the prehistoric community and referred to the original settlers as Hohokam, meaning “the people who have gone.”

Also known as the Valley of the Sun, Phoenix saw an influx of white settlers during the late 1860s. Phoenix was founded in 1870, taking its name from a settler who predicted the city would rise to greatness from the Hohokam ruins just as the mythical bird is said to be reborn from its own ashes. Incorporated in 1881, the city of Phoenix became the capital of the Arizona Territory in 1889.

Farming, ranching and mining helped contribute to much of Phoenix’s early growth, and the construction of the Roosevelt Dam in 1911 made water and electricity more easily available and spurred further development in the area. Arizona became a state in 1912 and throughout the 20th century Phoenix has gained popularity as a vacation destination because of its reputation for having pleasant weather all year. Phoenix became more metropolitan during World War II when several important air bases were established here.

Now more than 4 million people from various walks of life call the Valley of the Sun their home, with more than 1.5 million living in the city of Phoenix itself.

POLITICS
In Arizona, there is longstanding political opposition between the state’s two largest counties, Maricopa County and Pima County. On one side is Maricopa County—home to Phoenix, the capital of Arizona, as well as almost 60 percent of the state’s total population. Residents of Maricopa County have voted Republican in every presidential election since 1948. In contrast with Phoenix, the city of Tucson is found in Pima County and historically this area has leaned more toward Democratic views. Even though people living in the suburbs of Tucson tend to vote Republican, their stance is more moderate than their Maricopa counterparts. The rivalry between these two counties helps create an interesting and dynamic interplay in Arizona politics that is not always found in other parts of the United States.

RELIGION IN PHOENIX
Just 39 percent of residents in Maricopa County count themselves as affiliated with a religious congregation. The Top 5 religions starting with the most prominent are the Catholic Church (14 percent), Christian (other) (6.65 percent), the Jesus Christ Church of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) (6.4 percent), the Baptist (3.6 percent) and Pentecostal (3.1 percent).

LIVING IN A SUBTROPICAL ARID CLIMATE
Phoenix is located in a region of the United States called the Valley of the Sun and there is good reason for this. The climate is overwhelmingly warm and sunny, but low humidity in the area often keeps the heat from becoming too stifling. If the heat does become especially bothersome for a day, relief can be found after only a two-hour car trip to the mountainous part of the state, where temperatures can be up to 20 degrees cooler.

Blue skies during the day and clear starry night skies are common in the desert of Arizona, and in an area known for at least 300 days a year with no rainfall, it is important for you and your family to start the daily habit of using sunscreen on the face, neck, arms and anywhere else that will be directly exposed. Lotion should have a high SPF and UVB rating so that prolonged fun in the sun does not cause burns or more serious damage to the skin.

It is important that as a leader in your family you set an example for children so that they may respect their new home as much as they respected their last one. Taking your family on a hiking trip or even to the Phoenix Zoo will help everyone to better appreciate the wild animals that you will co-exist with as you learn about their place in the ecosystem of Phoenix and Arizona as a whole.

TAXES AND LAWS

Property Tax
Before exemptions and rebates are applied, the average property tax for a home in Arizona is 0.72 percent of the market value. For example, if your home’s assessed value is $425,000 and your tax rate was the average percentage, you would pay about $3,060 per year in property taxes. The County Treasurer sends a semiannual bill to the owner of the house to collect property taxes. If the owner has an impound for their Arizona Real Estate Tax, the bill can be sent directly to the mortgage company.

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