Yavapai College seeking 2 percent property tax increase

Public hearing on the proposal scheduled for Tuesday, May 8

The Yavapai Community College District is proposing an increase in primary property taxes of $896,100, or 2 percent.

The proposed tax increase would cause Yavapai Community College District’s primary property taxes on a $100,000 home to increase from $172.39 to $175.84, or $3.45.

The District includes Prescott, Verde Valley, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley and Sedona.

The proposed tax increase is exclusive of increased primary property taxes received from new construction and any changes that may occur from property tax levies for voter-approved bonded indebtedness or budget and tax overrides.

Dr. Clint Ewell, Yavapai College’s vice president of finance and administrative services, said this is a modest request intended to “balance our budget by controlling costs, while maintaining the quality that our students and residents have come to expect.”

“If approved by our District Governing Board, we will use these new revenues to further enhance academic quality, student success, and community outreach,” Ewell said.

Ewell pointed out that the college has come to rely almost solely on its students and the local property tax payers to cover its operating costs. Since the Great Recession, the state has all but stopped funding community colleges. Yavapai College currently receives only 1 percent of its operating revenues from the state. The Yavapai College District Governing Board has already put some of the projected fiscal burden on its students by approving a $4 per credit hour cost increase for next year. Additionally, Ewell noted that while the college is permitted by law to request up to a 2 percent property tax increase every year, it has resisted doing so – the last increase was three years ago.

The details of the proposed initiative will be shared at the college’s next monthly board meeting at 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, at the Yavapai College Career and Technical Education Center, 220 Ruger Road, Prescott. As always, these monthly meetings are open to the public.

All interested citizens are also invited to attend the public hearing on the tax increase. The hearing is set for 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 8, in the Community Room (Bldg. 19, Room 147) at the Yavapai College Prescott Campus, 1100 E. Sheldon St., Prescott.