The M&O Budget Override was first passed by Payson Unified School District residents in 2010. This secondary property tax override has a seven-year term which has a stable rate for the first four years, but if not renewed, it phases out the final three years to eliminate the tax. Each four years into the override the district must extend the tax to avoid the phase out and keep the income to the school district stable.
It was first renewed in 2014 while I was serving on the PUSD Governing Board. Since I am very familiar with the school budget process, I understand the importance of again renewing and extending this secondary property tax rate to avoid cutting the very specific programs this money funds.
Some might argue that in 2010 during the recession we needed the money but now since the economy is doing great and the state has funded more money for teacher salaries, that we no longer need this override. However, in 2016 there was Prop. 206, remember the minimum wage law that was passed? That initiative raised the minimum wage from $8.25 an hour incrementally every six months to the point it will be $12 an hour next January.
Our “classified” PUSD staff (custodians, secretaries, bus drivers, aides, etc.) received these raises and thus the “certified” teachers had to get raises too. Therefore, this override continuation money is still needed to cover all the payroll and benefits of teachers/staff at PUSD for the great classes it funds.
Many children’s favorite part of school is the music, physical education, or technology programs they participate in. The challenging advanced placement/dual-enrollment programs also are a great blessing to kids who want to start their college education while still in high school.
I urge you to join me in voting yes to extend the override when you receive your mail-in ballot for the Nov. 5 special election. There will not be polling places. Mail in all ballots or take them to the recorder’s office at 201 W. Frontier, corner of Colcord Unit D.
Shirley Dye, Payson