Last Tuesday night, July 9, 2013, the Higley school board voted 3-1 to place a $70 million bond question on the November 5, 2013 ballot. Board member Jake Hoffman voted against it:
"My concern is that Higley has demonstrated and acknowledged an inability to live within the state funding levels," Hoffman said. "We are not even attempting to put that long-term strategy in place to not need the override."
Hoffman also expressed concern that the change from asking voters for a bond vs. a capital override is a political move designed to get more votes.
LD12 Precinct Committeeman Rebecca Jarmin agrees with Mr. Hoffman. She wrote an article for Gilbert Watch about this issue challenging Board member Venessa Whitener and the other tax and spenders to “improve the schools we already have. Stop trying to attract parents with shiny new toys.” She also addressed the reasons that some very successful charter schools are moving into the Higley District.
Higley is just the beginning. We can expect other school districts all across Arizona to ask voters to go on the hook for outrageous amounts of debt. The School Bond Indebtedness Bill (HB2399) was merged under HB2003 under the special session called by the Governor. What HB2003 does is give each School District’s School Board a blank check to assess private property taxes. It allows school boards to double the assessments for class B bonds. It allows them to increase our tax burden by 100%. This measure affects all taxable property, including individual homes, multi-unit/apartment buildings, and commercial property. The money collected from this property tax increase can be used to fund Common Core.