CAC Tax Levy in Perspective
Written by: Angela Askey, Director of Marketing
On May 19, 2015, the Pinal County Community College District Governing Board voted to accept the Central Arizona College budget for fiscal year 2015-2016.
This vote followed a truth and taxation hearing where board members voted to increase the current tax rate from $1.91 to $2.76 per $100 of net assessed valuation. In response to concerns expressed by local citizens, the CAC Governing Board voted on June 9 to change the tax rate to $2.30 per $100 of net assessed valuation.
It is important for taxpayers to understand that the college’s portion of the county tax is only 14% of the total tax bill. This means that for every $1 of a taxpayer’s tax bill only 14 cents is allocated to support the county’s community college district. This percentage may not change even with the 39 cent increase.
Pinal County’s tax levy amounts are set by several taxing authorities including: the State Legislature; Board of Supervisors; County School Superintendent; individual cities or towns, school districts, special districts, irrigation and drainage districts and Central Arizona Water Conservation District who set their own tax rates; CAC Governing Board; and bond amounts previously determined and voted on by area residents.
Residential property taxes are based on assessed value, not full cash value. Residential taxes are set at 10% while commercial and industrial property taxes are at 18.5%, and agriculture/vacant land tax is set at 16% for tax year 2015-16.
Since 2006, CAC has seen a reduction of 80% in state funding. This year the state legislature threatened to take all of CACs funding. At the last hour they returned $2 million but another Legislative mandate may penalize the College by an additional $1 million or more.
CAC’s current rate is comparatively low because of prudent spending by the Governing Board over time. In years when the College could have raised the levy the board would not allow it, remaining fiscally responsible to the citizens of Pinal County.
The rumor that Central Arizona College is raising taxes 45% for all of Pinal County is not true! Revenues generated by the 39 cent increase is an investment in Pinal County’s current and future workforce, including nurses, public safety personnel and teachers.