Extend override


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

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(1) comment

Phil Mason

I can't believe that the justification for an Override has now come down to a raise in the minimum wage that affects at most an extremely low number of initial hire trainee employees.

To then make the giant leap of irrational false connectivity that the state minimum wage increases has made some huge fiscal impact to the budget of PUSD is a false narrative. Only four job classifications even have the possibility of being impacted by this scenario and that only impacts a first year employee at the lowest hiring scale possible - if there are any. For example, a new hire office tech 1 (clerk) will have their salary increased from $11.90 to $12.00 per hour. One has to be fiscally deficient to believe that a ten cent raise possibility (There is not even a claim that any clerk is even in that lowest possible wage rate) could create a fiscal crisis for PUSD that requires a $300,000.00 Overirde tax on property owners.

A beginning bus driver at the lowest possible new hire rate already makes $12.38 per hour. A beginning grounds worker, maintenance worker or Clerk II already starts at a minimum of $12.88 per hour. In addition, in the hundreds of examples of new hires that I have researched over the years, almost NONE of the new hires start at the lowest possible wage rate.

While all of this mythological justification is irrational, to make the leap that the salary of a first year teacher fresh out of college having ZERO experience with a starting salary of $40,000.00 is somehow impacted by a fifty cent p/hr raise in the minimum wage to $12.00 p/hr and therefore creates a fiscal crisis for PUSD requiring an additional lien on your property is surreal. Beginning teachers have NEVER been hired at or even near the minimum wage.

Remember, this Override is similar to refinancing a second mortgage on your home that was almost paid off. The monthly payment may not go up, but the overall liability over the term of the new loan is palpable.

If you are irritated by such financial legerdemain VOTE NO on this unnecessary tax confiscation to a failing enterprise that can only manage a 31% success in the AZMerit test for our children.

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