The Maricopa Community College District governing board approved a tax levy increase Tuesday for the first time in three years.
With a 4-1 vote, the board agreed to a 3 percent increase, with board member Debra Pearson casting the dissenting vote. The district is allowed legally to approve a 2 percent increase without seeking a public vote. It can additionally increase the tax if it didn’t do so the previous year, resulting in this 3 percent increase.
Maricopa Community Colleges have lost state funding totaling $61.7 million since June 2008, one reason board members cited for approving the tax increase.
The tax will go into effect July 1, impacting Maricopa County homeowners’ bills this fall.
On a home assessed at $100,000, the increase will add $2.95 a year, said district spokesman Tom Gariepy. The total community college district tax on a $100,000 assessed home will be $120.82.
The board also approved the district’s 2011-12 budget. While the overall budget decreased a bit because of fewer capital projects, the district’s operational budget is up slightly.
As in recent years, the district – which includes community colleges in the East Valley – expects more students.
“We were up 10 percent (enrollment) during the last two semesters. There is the expectation we will be up again,” Gariepy said.
According to the district’s website, an estimated 256,439 people took at least one class at a Maricopa Community Colleges campus during the current fiscal year.