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10:19 AM Fri, Sept. 21st

CVUSD to hold off on capital bond

Recommendation to wait until 2020, superintendent says

Property taxes

While the Chino Valley Unified School District is not pursuing a bond for 018, it is proposing an increase in its primary property tax levy of $81,000 for the fiscal year beginning Sunday, July 1. There is a public hearing on the proposed tax increase at 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 10 at the Chino Valley Unified School District Board Room, 650 E. Center St.

The amount proposed will cause Chino Valley Unified School District’s primary property taxes on a $100,000 home to be $4.34. Without the tax increase the total taxes that would be owed would have been $0.

After gaging whether or not a capital bond would pass if it were to be on the ballot in November, the Chino Valley Unified School District Governing Board directed Superintendent John Scholl not to move forward at its meeting Tuesday, June 5.

Four months ago, the question as to whether or not there is an overwhelming need for additional capital and a capital bond to be used for items such as buses, building repairs, a track and air conditioners, as well as whether or not the community would be willing to support a capital bond, which is an addition to their property tax, might have been yes, Scholl said. Then Governor Ducey proposed a 20 percent increase to teachers’ salaries over three years and freed up capital and came up with a plan over five years to bring all districts whole when it comes to capital funding, he said.

“It was pretty much unanimous that those two things really changed the dynamics of whether a bond would pass or not,” Scholl said, adding that out of 300 responses to a phone poll asking if people would support it found “about 53 percent in favor. But when you talk to the consultant that we hired, he said to be successful, you’d need to be closer to the mid-60s.”

As such, not only was the recommendation to not go out for a capital bond in 2018, but also to have more time, take two years to prepare and go out for one in 2020, he said. There is a political action committee in place that will remain in place, Scholl said.

Transportation Director Jeff Lambert said believes if the bond purely addressed transportation and the information got out there, the public would vote for it.

“I want to believe the public would do the right thing,” Lambert said. “I think the public knows the position that we’re in.” It is a gamble, Lambert said, asking to gamble his time and whatever money it would take for the bond to get on the ballot in November.

Additionally, the advisory group was full of very dedicated people and very community oriented, but was twice the size it was when it started, Scholl said. By the end, there were no teachers or kids involved and the bond wouldn’t be successful without teachers, he said.

The initial proposal for the bond did include security and there are some other ways of getting a little bit of capital money and some things that can be done to make campuses safer in the interim, Scholl said. It’s just a matter of prioritizing the money, he said.

Governing Board Member Sherry Brown said she thinks it will take just one serious accident or problem that affects a lot of people and then there will be those who are remorseful that the governing board didn’t go forward.

“I don’t know how you convince people that that could be a reality,” Brown said. “But if it were so, people would be very unhappy with their decisions.”