I am writing to urge voter support of Proposition 400 which represents an important opportunity for the future of post-secondary school education in Gila County. The "Test of Ballot" recently mailed to registered voters needs explanation because it does not convey fully the advantages that a Provisional Community College District will bring to the county.
Creating the Provisional Community College District will establish Gila County control of the community college through a governing board of five district members named initially by the county school superintendent and subsequently elected by the voters. In the past, our community college operations have been controlled by the county contracting with us for the educational services.
The new primary property tax levy of $2.1 million will replace the present secondary levy of roughly the same amount. There will be no increase in taxes resulting from the community college district.
The county will benefit from the elimination of $1 million of "out of county tuition" costs presently paid when county students are enrolled elsewhere. This will be a perpetual savings year after year, not a one-shot benefit. The annual $1 million cost savings will help stabilize county property taxes by providing funding for needed county programs without calling for a tax rate increase. A significant portion of the savings will be used to benefit our community college educational operations.
There is virtually no down-side to Proposition 400. This is a win-win-win opportunity! Let's pass Proposition 400!
Andy Kaiser, Payson