What is a Budget Override? School districts in Arizona are allowed by State law to increase their Maintenance & Operations (M&O) budgets each year by up to 15% of the revenue control limit imposed by the State Legislature. M&O funds are used almost exclusively for salaries for teachers and staff. School districts in Arizona representing more than 80% of the students presently have a budget override in place.
How long do override funds last? An override lasts for seven years. If not renewed, the amount decreases by one-third in the sixth year and two-thirds in the seventh year. In year eight, it expires. By law, voters must reauthorize its budget override. This election is to renew the override already in place. The last M&O Override was approved in 2016. Even though continuation overrides are not new taxes, per state law, they must be renewed through an election to continue for another seven years.
How much is the M&O override contributing to the MVESD budget currently? The full amount contributing to competitive salaries and benefits is estimated at approximately $1 million for 2021-2022 school year and will begin to sunset beginning 2022-2023, expiring in 2024-2025 school year, if not renewed by the voters.
Why is the district asking for the continuation of the override now? The district prior to the passing of the override had a difficult time attracting high-quality teacher candidates to fill open positions, whether at the beginning of the year, mid-year when teachers leave unexpectedly, or at the end of the year when open positions are first known.
How does this problem affect our education? Without the override, unfilled positions were often filled by substitute teachers, most of which who have no education beyond their high school diploma. Mid-year teacher departures had resulted in shifting students and teachers amongst existing teachers, meaning increased class sizes. Beside the disruption of students, staff turnover required constant retraining, which takes time, energy, and often costs for training.
How will override continuation support help? Money from the override election has been used to increase the base teacher salary within MVESD making it very competitive to teachers across the State and Nation. We have seen the average teacher longevity in our District increase to 10 years. High-quality teachers plus stability are good for kids, community and student achievement. This can be directly attributed to the passing of the override by our community in 2016.
How much will the override cost the average taxpayer? This is a renewal of an existing tax and, if approved, will not increase your property tax rate. Homeowners pay approximately 47 cents per $100 of assessed value. The average home within the District is assessed at about $117,000. The average homeowner pays about $4.50 per month in property taxes.
What is the difference between the assessed value and the market value of my home? Assessed property value comes from the local tax assessor's office. It is used for taxation purposes. Fair market value (FMV) is the price a home will likely bring in the current market. The assessed value of a home usually lags in comparison to the market since the valuations are only adjusted annually, while market values can change multiple times per year.
What will happen if the budget override is not renewed? MVESD will be forced to cut a little more than $1 Million from its operating budget over the next two years. Class sizes will increase and salaries will not be as competitive with other local and state school districts.
How do I know the money will be spent as indicated? The District is committed to responsible stewardship of override funds. Arizona law requires the District to clearly list what the override will be spent on in the voter information pamphlet. As a result, the District is required to comply or be in violation of Arizona state law.
When will the M&O Override be on the ballot? Election Date: Tuesday, November 2, 2021 - Mail-In Ballot Only. Expect to receive your ballot after October 6, 2021. Last day to register to vote is October 4, 2021.