Gilbert Unified School District – Raising Property Taxes – Again

If you didn’t see the following Notice that appeared in the 6/25/2010 issue of the “Arizona Republic,” you aren’t alone. A reader of Gilbert Watch sent it to me, and some of us have been asking what the heck is going on? Didn’t Prop 100 just pass? Isn’t the largest tax hike in American history coming at us on 1/1/2011? So, how is it that the Gilbert Unified School District wants more money? Well of course, as always, it’s only just a little bit. The GUSD has been increasing our property taxes to fix a perpetual annual shortfall every year for at least the last 17 years (to provide for school site improvements, etc.), according to Clyde Dangerfield, Assistant Superintendent for Business Services.
If you do the math, it appears to be a $10 increase for the year on a $100k home, $20 for a $200k home, etc. However, due to the vagaries of the complicated taxing system, Mr. Dangerfield revised those figures in an email to me to $4 ($100k home), and then he revised it again in another email to $2, for a $100k home.
If you go to the Gilbert Unified School District website, you won’t find a Summary for the June 24, 2010 meeting, which is where the tax increase was discussed. Why? According to Susan Sokolsky, Executive Assistant/Board, it was an offsite meeting, and those aren’t summarized. (Well now, that explains everything.)
You will, however, see a very interesting Summary for a June 22, 2010 meeting. This is where the Governing Board voted unanimously to approve the restoration of a 2% salary reduction of Administrative salaries. That 2% reduction had been imposed “as a precaution” earlier in the year.
Like you, I want our tax dollars to go to the Teachers, Classrooms, and Students FIRST. Whenever I hear about teachers buying supplies for their students out of their own pockets, I have to wonder: Is it possible they are funded LAST?
One thing is certain: You and I might be losing our jobs and taking staggering pay cuts, but the Administrators at Gilbert Unified School District aren’t.
Here is the website which will take you to the Agenda for the 7:30 pm meeting. Having never been to one of these meetings, I cannot advise you on what to expect. I plan to speak if possible. Shane Stapley also plans to speak. Please join us, to speak, or to simply be there.
http://www.gilbert.k12.az.us/board/boardmeetings.php#summary
“ In compliance with 15-905.01, Arizona Revised Statutes, Gilbert Unified
School District is notifying its property taxpayers of Gilbert Unified
School District’s intention to raise its primary property taxes over the
current level to pay for increased expenditures in those areas where the
Governing Board has the authority to increase property taxes for the fiscal
year beginning July 1, 2010. The Gilbert Unified School District is
proposing an increase in its primary property tax levy of $2,200,000.
The amount proposed above will cause Gilbert Unified School District’s
primary property taxes on a $100,000 home to increase from $16.8528 to
$27.4624.
These amounts proposed are above the qualifying levies as prescribed by
state law, if applicable. The increase is also exclusive of any changes
that may occur from property tax levies for voter approved bonded
indebtedness or budget and tax overrides.
All interested citizens are invited to attend the public hearing on the
proposed tax increase scheduled to be held July 6, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. at the
Educational Complex Building, 140 S. Gilbert Road, Gilbert, Arizona.”

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