Things to know before Moving To Payson Az [2023]

Looking to move to Payson, AZ? You’re not alone! With its pure air ozone belt, surrounded by national forests, and rich cultural heritage, Payson offers a unique living experience.

Did you know that Payson is located in one of the world’s three pure air ozone belts? This charming town boasts a family-friendly atmosphere, top-notch healthcare services, and a variety of dining and shopping options.

Plus, with its picturesque landscape and friendly community, Payson is the perfect place to embrace a relaxed lifestyle and explore the great outdoors.

Key Takeaways

  • Payson, AZ offers popular spots and activities such as a monument commemorating the Battle of Big Dry Wash, the Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery, and a variety of outdoor activities preferred by residents.
  • Crime in Payson, AZ is equal to the state average, but the town has a higher crime rate than the national average, particularly in terms of violent crime. Residents are advised to be aware of their surroundings and avoid going out alone at night.
  • Despite the crime statistics, a majority of residents still feel safe walking around at night and consider Payson to be a very safe place overall.
  • Payson, AZ has a rich history and offers opportunities to learn about the area’s past, including its original inhabitants, the Tonto Apache tribe, and its establishment as a popular destination for cowboys and ranchers.


Payson, AZ has a population of 16,761 people, with a racial composition that is predominantly White at 89.52%, according to the last official US Census in 2020.

If you’re considering moving to Payson, you’ll be joining a community that is primarily made up of White residents. The town also has a diverse population, with Other race, Two or more races, Native American, Asian, Black or African American, and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander residents.

This diverse mix of people adds to the cultural richness and vibrant atmosphere of the town. Payson offers a welcoming and inclusive environment for individuals and families from various backgrounds.

So, whether you’re looking to relocate for work, retirement, or a change of scenery, you’ll find a diverse community ready to welcome you in Payson.

Cost of Living

When considering the cost of living in the area, you’ll find that housing costs in Payson, AZ are higher than the national median. The median home value in Payson is $221,700, which is higher than the national average. Approximately 25.60% of occupied homes in Payson are rented, and the typical renter spends around $958 a month on housing.

The median household income in Payson is $50,049, which is 4.4 times the median home value. In terms of transportation costs, 93.50% of commuters in Payson drive to work, and the average commute time is 16.4 minutes. A single person in Payson spends $11,275 a year on transportation, which is higher than the national average.

When it comes to health care costs, Payson has higher out-of-pocket expenses and insurance premiums compared to the national average. For a single adult, average health care costs in Payson are $5,548 per year. Child care costs in Payson are also lower than the average across all of Arizona, with the average annual cost of child care for two children being $12,557.

Crime Rate

The crime rate in Payson, AZ is higher than the national average, with a rate of 36 crimes per one thousand residents. This makes Payson one of the highest crime rate cities in America compared to communities of all sizes. The chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime in Payson is one in 28. When it comes to safety, residents consider the northwest part of the city to be the safest, with a lower chance of being a victim of crime. However, the northeast neighborhoods have a higher crime rate, with a chance of 1 in 7 of being a victim. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions when living in Payson.

Area Crime Rate per 1,000 Residents
Northwest 1 in 44
Northeast 1 in 7
Rest of City 1 in 28


If you’re considering relocating to Payson, AZ, you’ll be interested to know about the local economy. Payson has experienced a population growth of 1.05% and a median household income increase of 7.85% between 2019 and 2020.

The town also has a future job growth projection of 32%. However, recent job growth has been -4%, and the current unemployment rate is 6.7%. This indicates that while there are opportunities for economic growth in Payson, there may be some challenges in the job market.

It’s important to thoroughly research the specific industry you’re interested in and the local market conditions before making any decisions. Despite these factors, Payson’s thriving business scene, as evidenced by the increase in local sales tax receipts, suggests that it could be a promising place to start a business.


Education in Payson, AZ includes a variety of public district schools, a public charter school, and private schools. According to, there are 8 Public District Schools, 1 Public Charter School, and 11 Private Schools in Payson.

One of the top-rated public schools in Payson is Julia Randall Elementary School, which is known for its academic performance and equity. Other top-rated schools in Payson include Payson Center For Success High School and Payson High School.

However, there are currently no universities located directly in Payson, AZ. There are plans for a university campus in Payson, which aims to provide an affordable university degree program from a world-class accredited university in a rural setting.


Healthcare in Payson, AZ includes Banner Payson Medical Center, a 25-bed critical access hospital, and North Country HealthCare, providing comprehensive medical care for patients of all ages.

Banner Payson Medical Center offers inpatient, outpatient, diagnostic, imaging, medical, surgical, and emergency care to the greater Payson area. They have been serving the community for over 50 years and are rated high performing in one adult procedure or condition.

North Country HealthCare Payson is conveniently located near the hospital and offers easy access and parking. Their physicians and nurse practitioners are committed to meeting the healthcare needs of the community.

With these healthcare facilities in Payson, residents can rely on quality medical services for their healthcare needs.

Additionally, there are several urgent care centers and walk-in clinics available in the area, including Banner Urgent Care, which offers a variety of services and treatments.

Housing Market

When looking for a place to live, you’ll be pleased to know that Payson, AZ has an affordable housing market with a median home price of $265,515, which is lower than the national median. This means that you can find a home in Payson at a more affordable price compared to other areas in the country.

Some of the most affordable neighborhoods in Payson include Desert Hills, Canyon View, and The Springs at Santa Rita, with median listing home prices ranging from $150K to $200K.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for more upscale neighborhoods, Fort McDonald/Town Center, Oxbow Estates/Rye, and Mesa del Caballo/Christopher Creek offer higher-end homes with median listing prices of $900K to $1.2M.

Overall, Payson’s housing market provides a range of options to suit different budgets and preferences.

Job Market

Looking for job opportunities in Payson? The job market in the area offers a variety of options to suit different skill sets and interests. According to my sources, the largest industries in Payson, AZ are Retail Trade, Accommodation & Food Services, and Health Care & Social Assistance. Some of the highest paying industries include Professional, Scientific, & Technical Services, Utilities, and Professional, Scientific, & Management, & Administrative & Waste Management Services. The most common job groups in Payson, AZ are Office & Administrative Support Occupations, Food Preparation & Serving Related Occupations, and Sales & Related Occupations. Some of the highest paying jobs in Payson, AZ include Registered Nurse (RN) with a sign-on bonus of $10,000 at Payson Care Center. Here are some of the top employers in Payson, AZ according to Zippia and Glassdoor:

Employer Industry
Payson Public Library Education
Crosswinds Restaurant Food & Beverage
Cedar Ridge Group Construction
Payson Christian School Education
The Home Depot Retail
Freeport-McMoRan Mining
Amazon E-commerce
Starbucks Food & Beverage
Deloitte Professional Services

Payson’s job market provides a range of opportunities in various industries, ensuring there are options available for individuals with different backgrounds and skill sets.

Public Transportation

Public transportation options in Payson, AZ include Payson Transportation Services and shuttle services to nearby airports.

Payson Transportation Services is a local transportation service located at 808 N Holly Circle, Payson, AZ, 85541. They offer transportation services within the town and can be contacted at (928) 595-1551.

If you’re looking to travel to nearby airports, such as Ernest A. Love Field in Prescott or Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, there are shuttle services available. Tucson Airport Shuttle provides daily shuttles to both Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and Tucson International Airport.

Additionally, there are rideshare services like Uber and Lyft available in Payson, as well as taxi services that can be found using Up Hail.

Tax Rates

Now that you’ve learned about public transportation in Payson, AZ, let’s dive into another important aspect of relocating: tax rates.

It’s crucial to understand the financial implications of moving to a new area, and Payson has its own unique tax structure.

The sales tax rate in Payson is 9.48%, which includes the Arizona state sales tax of 5.60%, Gila County sales tax of 1.00%, and no special tax.

Property taxes in Payson are administered by the Gila County Assessor’s Office, and the rates are set annually by the County Board of Supervisors. You have the flexibility to pay property taxes in one payment or two installments.

To find more information about exemptions and taxpayer programs, you can visit the Gila County Assessor’s Office website.

Understanding the tax rates in Payson will help you plan your budget accordingly.

  • Explore the different components of the sales tax rate in Payson
  • Learn about the property tax rates and payment options in Payson
  • Find out how to access information about exemptions and taxpayer programs in Payson

Weather and Climate

Payson, AZ experiences warm summers with an average high temperature of 89°F and cold winters with an average high temperature of 54°F. In the summer months, you can expect pleasant weather to enjoy outdoor activities and explore the beautiful natural surroundings. The average low temperature during summer is around 60°F, providing comfortable evenings and nights.

However, during winter, temperatures can drop significantly, with an average low temperature of 28°F. Snowfall is common in Payson, with an average of 25 inches from November through April. It’s important to be prepared for the colder temperatures and potential snow during the winter months.

Whether you’re enjoying the sunshine and warmth of summer or bundling up for a winter wonderland, Payson’s climate offers a variety of seasonal experiences for residents and visitors alike.

Pros and Cons

One of the advantages of living in Payson, AZ is the abundance of outdoor activities and natural beauty. The town is surrounded by tall pine trees, offering breathtaking scenery and a peaceful atmosphere. You can enjoy hiking and biking on the numerous trails in the area, or take a dip in the nearby rivers and waterfalls. Payson is also known for its wildlife, with elk, wild horses, and bison roaming freely. This allows for unique encounters with nature and creates opportunities for outdoor adventures. However, it’s important to note that the weather in Payson can be quite extreme, with temperatures ranging from 31F to 92F year-round. Despite this, the enjoyable summer weather and the opportunity to immerse yourself in nature make Payson a great place to live for outdoor enthusiasts.

Pros Cons
Abundance of outdoor activities Extreme weather conditions
Breathtaking natural beauty Limited shopping and dining options
Wildlife sightings Limited healthcare facilities
Peaceful and friendly community Distance from major cities
Opportunities for outdoor adventures Limited job opportunities

Bars and Restaurants

If you’re looking for a place to grab a drink or enjoy a delicious meal, you’ll be pleased to know that Payson, AZ offers a variety of bars and restaurants to choose from.

One popular option is Meat Pie Pizza, known for its mouthwatering meat pie pizza with fennel spiced sausage, pepperoni, and cheese on a delicious and crunchy crust.

If you’re in the mood for healthy meals made with fresh, organic, and local ingredients, check out Mogollon Moose Bakery. They have a delightful menu that includes items like the Strawberry chicken salad with delicious flavors and scones.

For Mexican food lovers, El Rancho Restaurant is the place to go. Their flavorful tacos and chimichanga are highly recommended, and they also serve the best margaritas in town.

Another great option is Creekside Steakhouse and Tavern. They have been open since 1972 and offer a variety of hearty and tasty dishes. Don’t miss their Cowboy steak, seared properly on the outside and juicy inside.

Payson, AZ has a vibrant dining scene that caters to various tastes and preferences.

Things to Do

When exploring Payson, you’ll find a wide range of activities to enjoy during your time in this charming town. Here are three must-do activities to make the most of your experience:

  1. Explore the majestic Mogollon Rim: Take in the breathtaking views of this 2000-foot natural rock formation. Drive along the Mogollon Rim Road for panoramic vistas or hike the Rim Lakes Vista Trail for fantastic forested mountain views. The sandstone cliffs and pine forests create a picturesque backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts.
  2. Visit Tonto Natural Bridge State Park: Discover the beauty of one of the world’s largest natural travertine bridges. Explore the hiking trails that lead to the bridge and marvel at the crystal-clear streams and lush vegetation. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the awe-inspiring surroundings.
  3. Experience the Payson Farmers Market: Immerse yourself in the local culture and taste the flavors of Payson. Enjoy fresh local produce, meats, baked goods, and other treats. This vibrant market offers a unique opportunity to support local farmers and artisans while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of the town.

Best Neighborhoods

To find the best neighborhoods in Payson, it is important to consider factors such as reputation, safety, access to parks and recreation, and suitability for families.

When it comes to reputation, you want to look for well-maintained neighborhoods that reflect the effort of its residents.

It’s also crucial to prioritize safety by checking the crime rates of specific neighborhoods. Payson has a relatively low overall crime rate, but it’s still important to choose neighborhoods with lower crime rates for added safety.

Access to parks and recreation is desirable, especially for families with children. Living near a park provides green spaces and recreational opportunities.

Finally, considering the suitability for families is essential. Look for neighborhoods with parks within walking distance to ensure a family-friendly environment.

Working with a knowledgeable real estate agent like Rory Huff can help you find the perfect home in the best neighborhood for your needs. For questions about real estate in Payson, you can contact Rory Huff at 928-595-0136.


Congratulations on your decision to move to Payson, AZ! You’re about to embark on a journey that will sweep you off your feet and take you to new heights.

With its pure air ozone belts and stunning national forests, Payson is a breath of fresh air for your soul. Embrace the town’s rich history and let it guide you towards a brighter future.

As you settle into your new home, remember that Payson is not just a place, but a piece of paradise waiting to be discovered. So spread your wings and soar, for Payson is where dreams take flight.

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