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Sat, Feb. 22

Humboldt Unified School District shows highest property tax rate

The Humboldt Unified School District has the highest fiscal year 2010-11 property tax rate in the quad-city area, with a combined primary and secondary tax rate of $4.42 per $100 of assessed valuation.

Chino Valley Unified School District's combined tax rate is $3.29 per $100 of assessed valuation, while Prescott Unified School District's is $2.64 per $100 of assessed valuation.

HUSD Finance Director Cynthia Windham told the district governing board Aug. 17 that the tax rate submitted to the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors for approval includes the primary property tax rate of $3.35 and a secondary property tax rate of $1.07.

Windham reported that the property tax represents a 98-cent increase of the FY 2009-10 rate of $3.44. For property owners, Windham said this represents about $97.76 per $100,000 of assessed valuation, per year.

Despite a 43-cent increase to its secondary property tax because of an adjacent ways levy, Chino Valley School District's total property tax deceased 58 cents from FY 2009-10.

CVUSD Director of Support Services John Scholl said the district's primary property tax is $2.76 and the secondary property tax is 52 cents. All of the decrease in the tax amount was in the primary property tax rate.

On July 12, the Chino Valley governing board conducted a Truth in Taxation hearing about its intent to collect $100,000 n Adjacent Ways money.

Scholl said the Adjacent Ways levy is "the only tax school boards have control over."

CVUSD has collected adjacent ways taxes for the past two years to pay for connections to the Town of Chino Valley's sewer system.

Prescott Unified's Chief Financial Officer Renee Raskin said the district's $2.64 FY 2010-11 tax rate is a 13 percent decrease from the FY 2009-10 rate of $2.97 per $100 of assessed valuation.

PUSD's primary property tax rate is $2.34 per $100 of assessed valuation. Its secondary tax is 24 cents, plus 5 cents for Mountain Institute Joint Technology Education District, for a total secondary property tax of 29 cents.

HUSD and CVUSD are also members of Mountain Institute, and property owners in those districts pay the 5-cent tax.

In her report to the HUSD governing board, Windham explained the many factors that affect tax rates, including: the assessed valuation of the district specific to each district and set by the county assessor; qualifying tax rates set by the state; collection of tax levies specific to each district; and budget allocations based on state formulas and district student attendance.

According to Windham, the qualifying tax rate is the only factor consistent to all school districts.

"The qualifying tax rate is established by the state and is the determining factor between what percentage is to be paid by the state and the local taxpayers to fund school districts' budgets," Windham explained.

She noted that the qualifying tax rate increased in FY 2010-11 from $2.75 to $2.96, which "essentially shifted a higher percentage of the tax burden to the local area taxpayers."

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