Fiscal management, planning drives proposed zero-tax increase budget
Yuma, AZ (May 2, 2018) – At last month’s District Governing Board meeting, members approved a preliminary budget that includes no increase to property taxes. Under the leadership of President Daniel Corr and CFO Shahrooz Roohparvar, it was determined during budget planning that the district has sufficient resources to maintain services, and to execute on the recently developed Strategic Plan 2025. With this proposed tax rate increase of zero, AWC’s 5-year rate of 7% will be the third lowest 5-year tax increase in the state, behind Maricopa Community College District (2% over five years) and Yavapai College (4%).
This follows two other recent efforts recently to create significant tax relief for Yuma and La Paz property owners. In 2014, 2015 and 2016 the college saved a total of $3.66M through three separate bond refinancing plans, which impacted the secondary tax levy, and was realized by property owners on their annual tax invoice. In 2017, the college was able to pass on accumulated reserves totaling approximately $2.4M on secondary tax levy to benefit district tax payers. Collecting a set reserve is mandatory by statute each year to protect the district against any potential shortfall. The accumulated reserve was never part of the college budget; college leaders sought to return it when it came to their attention that the reserve had grown beyond the required amount.
In developing the FY19 budget, the college leadership team is focusing on both the implementation of a year’s worth of Strategic Planning work, and the development of a multi-year enrollment plan, set to be delivered to Dr. Corr in June of this year. Community and student input have been instrumental in crafting these plans, to help position the college to continue to be of service to the students and citizens of Yuma and La Paz Counties. The District Governing Board will review the proposed budget at their May 18 meeting, with a consideration to adopt the budget.
Executive Assistant to the President
Arizona Western College