Tuesday, June 9, 2015

CAC & Property Taxes

I read some opinions about the CAC property tax rate increase over a week ago.
One claimed it is taking our rights away. He says this is about our basic freedom to vote on issues that determine the future of this country.

My opinion of that is that if we the people had to vote on each and every item of governance it would be what is called mob rule, the majority would always get what they want. Just throw away the Constitution, the majority wouldn't need it, they already know what is best for everyone. Also, it would be impossible to manage all that voting.
One battle cry of the U.S. revolution was “No taxation without representation.” In this case we are represented, the members of the district Governing Board are elected, not appointed. And we each can still have input, just go to the meeting and tell them what you think. The proposed budget and time/date of the meeting is published on the website and in the newspaper every year.
Another opinion claimed it will raise all property taxes to $85 per $100,000 value. I wish my property taxes would be decreased to $85. My property is valued at substantially less than $100,000 and my property tax is several times $85, and then some more.
CAC employees getting a 4% raise must be evil since it will happen while CAC operates with less revenue than in 2015. It seems to me it must be a reasonably efficient operation for that to happen.
I wonder if either of them looked at CACs budget and noticed that it is 4% less than last year, that's $4,420,000 less.
The property tax rate did increase by 43.9%, but the money CAC receives from State appropriations decreased by 96.2%. Also $20,000,000 of the 2015 budget was from the sale of bonds, not happening in the 2016 budget, that's a 100% decrease.
My question here would be, which would you prefer, an increase in property tax, sales tax or income tax? And don't even think about claiming that only property owners pay property tax, renters pay it also, via their landlords (if the landlords are making a profit the renters must be paying the property tax).
I also noticed that a lot of people complain when taxes are increased but not when they are decreased. Even if there was a recent decrease they will still whine about an increase.
As evidence I include a couple of paragraphs from the CAC website (just click the link if you want to read more):
Today, Central Arizona College (CAC) is formally known as the Pinal County Community College District, receiving a large portion of its funding from the taxpayers of Pinal County. Because of its successful educational and fiscal management styles, the 2007-08 budget reflects a tax reduction for the fourth consecutive year.*
The institution is overseen by the Pinal County Community College Governing Board, a leadership group elected by voters* to help guide the institution’s growth. The five-person board is comprised of county residents* selected from specific geographic areas with a president annually chosen by the board members to lead the organization.
Here are a couple from the Arizona Revised Statutes (Arizona Laws):
E. The governing board of each district shall prepare a notice fixing a time not later than June 20 and designating a public place within each district at which a public hearing and special board meeting* shall be held. The governing board of each district shall publish a notice of the public hearing and special board meeting not later than fifteen days before the meeting. The governing board shall publish the proposed budget on its website and present the proposed budget for consideration of the residents and the taxpayers of the district at such meeting.
G. The governing board shall publish the proposed budget and the notice of the public hearing and special board meeting a second time not later than five days prior to the meeting. Publication shall be made in a newspaper of general circulation within the district.
Beginning in fiscal year 2013-2014, within seven days after the adoption of the proposed budget presented before the governing board, the budget finally adopted under this section shall be accessible in a prominent location on the district's official website and the final adopted budget shall be retained on the website for at least sixty months.
Naturally someone has to complain about the illegals getting a free education.
What part of U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen (it means legal) is so hard to understand? Of course, that only applies to Federal Financial Aid, what about scholarships?
Scholarships do not count towards bitching about property taxes because scholarships are paid by the company, foundation or organization that provides the scholarship.
Here is a little more information from the CAC website:
Central Arizona College presently offers the following federal financial aid programs:
    • Grants
      • Federal Pell Grant
      • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
      • Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership Grant
    • Work-Study
      • Federal Work-Study
    • Loans
      • Federal Direct Stafford Loan
      • Federal Direct PLUS Loan

Student Eligibility for Federal Financial Aid Programs

To be eligible for federal financial aid, the student must:
    • have financial need, (except for some loan programs)
    • have a high school diploma, General Education Development (GED) Certificate
    • be admitted as a "regular" student according to the admission requirements listed in the college catalog
    • be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen*
    • have a valid Social Security number
    • maintain satisfactory academic progress
    • sign a statement of educational purpose and a certification of statement on overpayment and default (on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, FAFSA)
    • register with the Selective Service, if required
    • file your income tax return with the IRS, if required
I believe I have done a reasonable job of dispelling some myths, incorrect assumptions, jumping to conclusions based on factless opinions, etc. I do not expect this to diswade everyone from believing what the talking heads tell them, but maybe a few will check the facts before publishing their opinions.
Any questions? Comments?
*The bold with * is my doing.

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