2020 M&O Override Continuation and Critical Needs Bond

  • What is the difference between an override and a bond and why do they require voter approval?

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    When the funding provided by the state is not enough to meet the needs of all students, the state allows school districts to ask for local support through bonds and overrides. This requires Governing Board approval to place the initiative on the ballot for community approval by vote in an election.

     

    Maintenance and Operations Overrides are used to provide additional funding to support people and programs. School districts may ask for an increase of up to 15 percent of their revenue control limit for a term of seven years from local secondary property taxes. Many districts ask voters to approve a renewal in year four or five of an override to maintain a consistent level of funding. If not renewed, the override amount decreases the school district’s budget by 1/3 in the sixth year, 2/3 in the seventh year, and the funds from the override would be fully eliminated in year eight.

     

    Bonds authorizations are similar to a borrowing threshold that is authorized by the voters and allows a district to sell bonds in incremental amounts up to that threshold to purchase capital items and/or make capital improvements to existing facilities, such as school building renovations or the purchasing of school buses. The funding can only be used to fund projects that have a useful life longer than five years. They are repaid over a set period of time from local secondary property taxes, and the district must provide the community with information on how the dollars are spent, which are currently outlined on our district’s website. Funds from a bond cannot be used for employee compensation.

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  • Does Peoria Unified currently have an override in place and what does it fund?

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    Like most school districts in the state, the Peoria Unified School District has an M&O override in place, which has been approved by voters since 1996. The override currently in place funds employees in our schools such as school nurses, and assistant principals, as well as programs, such as physical education, arts education, reading and gifted programs, all-day kindergarten, athletics, and extracurricular activities. It is also used to provide teacher and staff compensation and helps maintain class sizes to a standard set forth by our Governing Board. 

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  • If an override is already in place, why is there an override on the November 3, 2020 ballot?

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    The current override expires in 2020 and will begin to phase out in FY 2022 if not renewed by the voters on November 3, 2020.

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  • What will happen if the override is not renewed?

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    Without the continuation of the M&O override, the district would lose more than $29 million in funds that support people and programs. All staff would see a compensation decrease, the district could no longer maintain health care professionals and assistant principals on all campuses, both of whom directly impact safety on our campuses. In addition, class sizes would increase and the ability to offer programs such as arts, music, physical education and gifted education programs would be threatened. Additionally, there would be a charge for full-day kindergarten. Fees related to athletic and extracurricular activities would also significantly increase and these programs would be reduced.

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  • When was the last time the community supported an override for the Peoria Unified School District?

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    Voters passed our current 13% M&O override in 2015 and it went into effect July 1, 2016. As stated above, the current override provides funds for additional positions such as assistant principals, school nurses and arts education, music, athletics, physical education, gifted and reading programs as well as extra-curricular activities.   It also supports free all-day kindergarten, provides a portion of each employee’s annual compensation and helps the district maintain its class sizes.

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  • If the continuation of the override is approved, how will taxes be affected?

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    The maintenance and operations override on the November ballot is a continuation of funding that is currently in place. If approved, the override continuation will result in an estimated average annual tax rate of $1.4486 per $100 of limited assessed valuation for residential property owners. (Note: overrides are funded from a levy of ad valorem taxes on all taxable property, or limited assessed valuation within the Peoria Unified School District, which is different from the value listed on Zillow or Redfin.) 

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  • Why did Peoria Unified choose to add a critical needs bond election to the November ballot?

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    At the recommendation of district leaders and citizens who met conducted research, the Governing Board voted to include a $125 million critical needs bond at the May 28 Governing Board meeting. The critical needs bond will be used to address maintenance needed to ensure the safety and proper function of aging buildings and buses. There is also exponential growth happening in the northern portion of the Peoria Unified School District and the bond includes the ability to purchase land that could be used for a new high school in the northern portion of the district to accommodate growth. 

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  • If approved, how will funds from the critical needs bond be spent?

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    If passed, funds will be used in the following ways:

    • To renovate and provide essential and critical improvements to instructional and operational buildings at existing elementary, high schools and support centers including restrooms, heating, air conditioning, parking, and roofing projects;
    • To implement safety features at all school sites;
    • To replace student and staff computer devices, servers and technology infrastructure;
    • To replace student transportation vehicles including special education and activity buses;
    • To acquire land for the future construction of a new high school
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  • What will happen if the critical needs bond is not approved?

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    If the critical needs bond does not pass, Peoria Unified School District will not be able to provide all of the required maintenance and facility updates that are needed at our school and operational facilities.  In addition, student and staff technology needs will not be made and aging school buses will not be replaced.

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  • What amount is the Peoria Unified School District asking for? How will it impact taxes?

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    The total critical needs bond is for $125,255,000. If approved, the secondary property tax rate is expected to remain at or below $1.48, which means the tax rate will not increase.   

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  • When will bonds be sold?

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    The 2012 bond authorization has been fully sold and remaining bond proceeds will be expended over the next couple of years.  If the 2020 bond passes, it will replace the 2012 bond program, and we anticipate the first sale to take place in early 2021.  

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  • Will funds from this bond election goes towards staff raises?

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    No. The law is very specific on what bond monies can be used for, if approved. Bonds are for capital projects only and cannot be used for staff raises or salary increases.

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  • How do I vote in this election?

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    In order to vote, you must be a registered voter in the state of Arizona by October 5, 2020.

     

    Follow this link to register to vote.

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  • How can I calculate my property taxes?

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    To calculate your property taxes, a community member needs the limited property value of their property. Note: This is not the current fair market value of a home that can be found on Zillow or Redfin but rather the Limited Property Value as calculated by the Maricopa County Assessor. This amount can be located on the Property Notice of Valuation that is mailed each year from the Maricopa County Assessor or online by visiting the Maricopa County Assessor website. 

     

    For additional financial information on the Peoria Unified School District, visit our Bonds and Overrides page. The example valuation below is a home that has an approximate fair market value of $450,000, if it were to be listed for sale on the open market. Example tax calculation based on Example valuation: Limited Property Value: $288,977 X .10 = $28,897.70 Then divide $28,897.70 BY 100 = $288.97 X $2.9267 = $845.75 ESTIMATED SECONDARY PROPERTY TAX PER YEAR.

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  • Property Notice of Valuation sample for a house with a LPV of 288, 977