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Sat, Dec. 07

What it costs you to operate a school
6-cent drop in primary tax rate projected for Mingus; 5.5% pay raise for staff

VVN illustration by Chris Myers
VVN photos by Bill Helm

VVN illustration by Chris Myers VVN photos by Bill Helm

This past year, Mingus Union purchased new textbooks and smart boards for most of the sciences classes.

Capital projects planned for this year, according to Business Manager Lynn Leonard, include a textbook adoption for mathematics, as well as a cafeteria renovation, internet fiber upgrade, purchase of an additional 420 chrome books and wall mount chargers and a couple of air conditioning system replacements.

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Lynn Leonard

“Our goal going forward is to annually rotate through each department for textbook adoption,” Leonard said. “This has not been possible in the last six or seven years due to the drastic reduction in capital funds.”

Tuesday, the Mingus Union School Board approved the district’s 2019-2020 budget.

Mingus Union has estimated a $1.9152 primary tax rate, which is less than last year’s $1.9731 rate. But the district is waiting for Yavapai County to calculate the secondary rate, Leonard said this week and District Superintendent Mike Westcott confirmed Friday.

Both primary and secondary taxes are based on $100 of assessed valuation. On a home worth $200,000, Mingus Union property owners would pay about $383.

Mingus has planned a 5.5% increase “for all hourly classified staff, certified teachers, and counselors,” Leonard said.

“This was stated very early on and was kept at the forefront of discussions,” Leonard said. “It was important to all members that the increase at least match the governor’s 5% for teachers.”

The district’s administrators will receive a 5% raise, Westcott said.

Mingus Union has a 10% maintenance and operations override in place, which Leonard said is good through 2022-2023.

“At this time the district has no plans to go out for a bond,” Leonard said.

Better transportation part of Beaver Creek’s capital improvements

RIMROCK – Much of Beaver Creek’s capital improvements this year are geared toward transportation, said District Superintendent Karin Ward.

“We do have some capital projects planned, but mostly in buying buses and other vehicles to transport children with special needs,” Ward said.

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Karin Ward

Beaver Creek, Ward said, is also focusing on its “bulletin boards and white boards being updated, along with new drinking fountains in the gym.”

Monday, the district’s governing board approved the 2019-2020 budget, which includes a 5% pay increase for teachers and an 8% increase for its classified and administrative staff.

“Thank goodness districts were given some additional funds to make that happen, as the state retirement costs have gone up to making both the district and employee pay more each paycheck,” Ward said.

This coming year, the community’s property owners will be paying less in taxes than the previous year, according to the budget’s estimated $4.1655 primary tax rate and $1.2184 secondary tax rate.

Both primary and secondary taxes are based on $100 of assessed valuation. This means for a home worth $200,000, Beaver Creek property owners would pay about $833 toward the primary tax rate and about $243 toward the secondary tax rate.

“Keep in mind that on each tax bill statement there is a state aid to education credit to each tax payer to help reduce these amounts,” said Clarkdale-Jerome Business Manager Kristy Aston.

Aston said that this credit pertains to “all schools.”

Primary taxes support the district’s maintenance and operations. Secondary taxes pays off bonds and overrides.

In 2009, Beaver Creek taxpayers supported a $3.2 million bond that went toward building the school district’s multi-purpose, administrative, library, preschool and science lab buildings.

Ward also said that the district is “working with the school facilities board for a new gym roof.”

Cottonwood-Oak Creek plans capital projects for summer

COTTONWOOD – Monday, the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School Board unanimously approved the district’s 2019-2020 budget.

The district, according to Director of Business Services David Snyder, has earmarked about one-third of its capital limit to projects that should be completed this coming summer.

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David Snyder

After what Snyder called “years of severe reductions in capital funds,” the state is “slowly reinstating the amount districts are allocated.”

Projects, Snyder said, include site work, replacement of carpet in several of the district’s classrooms, and installation of a new sport court surface in the Oak Creek School gymnasium.

The remainder of capital funds, he said, “will be held in reserve for any emergency repairs and to begin to build capacity in our capital funds to address projected needs over the next three years.”

The district’s returning teachers will receive a 3% pay increase in 2019-2020. Last year, teachers received a 12% increase, which means the district’s 15% raises the past two years are “in line with the goals of the governor’s plan of 20% by 2020,” Snyder said.

The district’s classified and administrative staffers will also receive a 3% pay increase, Snyder said Friday.

Cottonwood-Oak Creek taxpayers pay two separate taxes, a primary and a secondary tax.

Primary taxes support the district’s maintenance and operations. Secondary taxes pay off bonds and overrides.

Based on projections from Snyder’s office, the community’s taxpayers will spend more this year than the previous year. This is based on the budget’s estimated $2.2250 primary tax rate and $1.00 secondary tax rate, which is more than last year’s $2.0709 primary and $.9306 secondary.

Both primary and secondary taxes are based on $100 of assessed valuation. This means for a home worth $200,000, Cottonwood-Oak Creek property owners would pay $445 toward the primary tax rate and another $200 toward the secondary tax rate.

Primary taxes are what supports the district’s maintenance and operations, where the secondary tax rate is what pays off bonds and overrides.

Clarkdale-Jerome maximizes all revenues in 2020 budget

CLARKDALE – Tuesday, the district’s governing board unanimously approve the 2019-2020 budget, which will include a 5.65% average wage increase for its teachers and a 5% increase for its classified and administrative staffers.

Teachers at Clarkdale-Jerome are on a salary schedule, said Kristy Aston, the district’s business manager.

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Kristy Aston

“This means we increase our base pay, and the increase flows through to the different cell on the schedule,” she said. “We increased the base pay by $1,935 and each teacher received a step down on the salary schedule. This is an increase of $850 to $1,400 depending on where the teacher is on the salary schedule. So, not everyone get the same percentage increase.”

Clarkdale-Jerome doesn’t have any large capital projects planned this year, Aston said. But the district will receive a $110,000 Volkswagen Settlement Grant for a new bus which will be delivered in October.

Clarkdale-Jerome taxpayers pay two separate taxes, a primary and a secondary tax.

Primary taxes support the district’s maintenance and operations. Secondary taxes pay off bonds and overrides.

Based on estimated figures on the budget, the community’s taxpayers will spend less this year on their primary tax, but more on their secondary tax.

This is based on the budget’s estimated $1.8951 primary tax rate and $.5460 secondary tax rate, compared to last year’s $1.9697 primary and $.4966 secondary.

Both primary and secondary taxes are based on $100 of assessed valuation. This means for a home worth $200,000, Clarkdale-Jerome property owners would pay $379 toward the primary tax rate and about $109 toward the secondary tax rate.

“Keep in mind that on each tax bill statement there is a state aid to education credit to each tax payer to help reduce these amounts,” Aston said.

Aston said that this credit pertains to “all schools.”

Primary taxes are what supports the district’s maintenance and operations, where the secondary tax rate is what pays off bonds and overrides.

Aston also said that Clarkdale-Jerome is going into the fourth year of its voter-approved override. 

“We will need to go back out [in November 2020] for reauthorization,” she said. “The money supports our full-day kindergarten program, full-time art teacher and full-time PE teacher. We make it by running a very tight ship. Everyone here wears multiple hats. We try to maximize all revenues received and apply for as much grant money as we can.”

Roofing, parking lot projects on Camp Verde’s facilities radar

CAMP VERDE – The Camp Verde School Board unanimously approved the district’s 2019-2020 budget – with one change to the proposed budget.

According to Business Manager Steve Hicks, the estimated primary tax rate is “most likely going to be quite a bit lower than the rate on the proposed budget.”

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Steve Hicks

The primary rate – 4.1304 – is also less than last year’s 4.4446 primary rate.

These figures are still estimates, Hicks said.

Both primary and secondary taxes are based on $100 of assessed valuation. At Camp Verde Unified, with no bonds or overrides on the books, the community’s property owners will only pay a primary tax toward education.

On a home worth $200,000, Camp Verde’s property owners would pay about $826.

Aston also said that this credit pertains to “all schools.”

Camp Verde’s teachers can expect a 6% pay increase on average in 2019-2020, with classified personnel also receiving a 6% increase and administration a 4% increase.

Hicks said Friday that the district is planning several capital projects, which include redoing the fire alarm system, new asphalt in the parking lots, a wireless network upgrade, and re-roofing the elementary school and the multi-use facility.

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