Pima Community College is on schedule to pay the last of its long-term bond debt next fiscal year after the PCC Governing Board voted Wednesday to approve property tax rates for fiscal year 2013-14.
At a Special Meeting, the Governing Board approved a 2.0 percent increase in the primary property tax levy for fiscal year 2013-14, allowed by state law. PCC’s primary tax revenue, which funds PCC operations and fiscal year 2013-14 priorities such as strengthening College safety and security and Adult Basic Education, will be increased by $1,886,689. It amounts to a $2.50 increase in primary property taxes on a home with a full cash value of $100,000, from $124.96 to $127.46.
The Board also approved lowering the secondary property tax rate. It amounts to a 70-cent decrease in secondary property taxes on a home with a full cash value of $100,000, from $2.57 to $1.87.
The secondary property tax levy, which is used to pay off long-term debt obligations such as bonds, is projected to be $1.4 million, a decrease of about $675,000 over current year, and will be used to retire the College’s existing General Obligation bond debt.
“We are pleased to be retiring the last of the College’s debt. We have made a concerted effort in recent years to relieve the College and taxpayers of long term debt,” said Dr. David Bea, Executive Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration. “Retiring our bond debt will remove the need to levy a secondary tax for these bonds in fiscal year 2014-15 and beyond, which will further reduce property tax rates to support PCC.”
Dr. Bea’s presentation included data that compared Arizona’s 10 community college districts in a variety of ways using fiscal year 2013-14 data including: property tax rates; cost per full time student equivalent (FTSE); and, tuition and fees cost per unit. These metrics indicate that PCC ranks the third-lowest among Arizona’s 10 community college districts in two measures: the fiscal year 2013-14 combined primary and secondary property tax rates ($1.2933) and the cost per full time student equivalent ($7,087). In addition, the College’s fiscal year 2013-14 tuition and fees cost per unit of $71.00 is the fourth-lowest among Arizona’s 10 community college districts.
The Board also voted Wednesday to approve the College’s fiscal year 2013-14 budget. When compared to the College’s current year budget, the fiscal year 2013-14 budget is about $15 million or 5 percent smaller, a reduction from about $299 million to $284 million. “The College has been and will continue to be a prudent steward of public funds,” added Dr. Bea.