Posted: Monday, May 18, 2015 10:06 am
SIGNAL PEAK — The Central Arizona College Governing Board will consider approval Tuesday of a $105 million budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year including a property tax increase of nearly 85 cents per $100 of net assessed valuation.
The action will follow a public truth and taxation hearing at 6 p.m. at the college’s Signal Peak Campus.
The change, which would be a 44 percent increase from the current year’s $1.91 per $100 net assessed valuation, is expected to generate $56.7 million for the college and represent 14 percent of the distribution of Pinal County property tax revenue.
The college nearly saw all of its state funding eliminated recently, but some was restored by the Legislature at the 11th hour. Since 2006, the state has cut close to 80 percent of the college’s funding — from a high of $10 million in 2006-07 to barely $2 million for the upcoming school year. The cost of tuition has climbed from $55 per credit hour in 2007-08 to $82 per credit hour beginning in the fall.
Since 2012, CAC has made significant cost-cutting measures including shifting to a four-day work week in an effort to save on utilities and part-time wages; not fully staffing new campuses in San Tan Valley and Maricopa; decreasing employee benefits; and recently deciding to close the pool at the Signal Peak Campus.
“Our hands are essentially tied,” Chris Wodka, vice president of financial and administrative services for the college, said last month. “We have increased tuition as much as possible. How much more can students take?”