School bond and tax elections in Arizona

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
School bonds
& taxes
Portal:School Bond and Tax Elections
Bond elections
2014201320122011
201020092008
All years and states
Property tax elections
2014201320122011
201020092008
All years and states
How voting works
Other
State comparisons
County evaluations
Approval rates
School bond and tax elections in Arizona happen under two circumstances:
  • To issue new bonding
  • To overide a school district's budget.

Laws affecting school finance

Arizona budget override law

Arizona has a law that allows the voters of a school district to override a budget if the budget exceeds the operating limit. In the event that an Arizona school district fails to gain voter approval on a budget override election, a substitute, no tax increase budget must be made.[1]

Arizona allows for school districts to override their budgets by five percent for each fiscal year within the budgeted expenditures of a special program.[2] The five percent revenue limit is used if it involves the constitutionally protected debt limit in the Arizona Constitution.[3]

If a school district plans to move forward with a budget override, the school district must plan to have a separate program budget for the amount it plans to exceed the revenue control limit along with strict disclosure of the budget. This means that when a school district issues their annual report it must disclose all of its expenditures in relation to the budget override.[4]

Budget overrides can be granted up to fifteen percent in the event of a school district using a budget override fully funded by a tax levy or another revenue source that affects the levy itself.[5][6] The fifteen percent limit is also constitutionally protected in Article IX, Section 18 of the Arizona Constitution.[7] Under the fifteen percent limit, this can be used from the sale and lease of school property as long as the proceeds are used for maintenance and operation of the schools.[8]

Arizona bond issue law

Under Arizona law, a school district which has a petition with signatures from fifteen percent of the school district's voters who voted in the last election can call for a referendum to approve a bond issue. Bond elections can be held for:

  • To locate or change the location of school buildings.
  • To purchase or sell school property and school sites consistent with Arizona law, and to build new school buildings.
  • To decide whether bonding should be issued and sold to raise money for purchase or lease school lots, to build or renovate school buildings, to supply schools with furniture, equipment and technology, to improve school grounds, to purchase transportation vehicles or for liquidating any indebtedness already incurred.
  • To lease out property owned by the school district for a minimum of five years.[9]

Most general obligation bonds for school districts in the State of Arizona are called Class B bonds. Each school district in Arizona that has bonds approved by the voters must hold public hearings to alert the public on the progress of how the bond proceeds are spent.[10]

Arizona debt limits

The Arizona Constitution has a constitutionally protected debt limit for school districts in Arizona. Under Article IX, Section 8.1 no unified school district can exceed thirty percent of the total taxable property in a given district.[11] All other school districts in Arizona have a six percent debt limit protected in Article X, Section 8 of the Arizona Constitution.[12]

Conduct of the bond election, limitations, rules

Authority conducting elections

For all elections not held on the same date as a statewide election, the election is run by the city or county school superintendent.[13] All other elections held on the same date as a statewide election must be run by the respective County Board of Election Commissioners.[14]

Election dates

Elections can be held on the second Tuesday in March, the third Tuesday in May, the tenth Tuesday before the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, and the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.[15] For cities that have a population greater than 175,000, elections can held on the tenth Tuesday before the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, and the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.[16]

Needed majority

A simple majority is needed to approve a budget override election in Arizona.[17]

Special elections

There is no state mandated procedure for special elections involving referendums for bond issues and budget overrides. All procedures for special elections differ by county and municipality.

Wording of measures

Under Arizona law, the wording of the question must have the following: "the issuance of these bonds will result in an annual levy of property taxes sufficient to pay the debt on the bonds" with the question ending in "bond approval, yes" and "bond approval, no."[18]

Before the actual ballot question, a disclaimer statement must be on the ballot. For a Class B Bond election, the following disclaimer must have the following stated:

___________ school district is proposing to issue a class B general obligation bonds totaling $__________ to fund capital improvements over and above those funded by the state. Under the students first capital funding system, _________ school district is entitled to state monies for building renewal, new construction and renovation of school buildings in accordance with state law.

For a district seeking Class B bonds in a joint-technology district the following disclaimer must be stated:

___________, a joint technological education district, is proposing to issue class B general obligation bonds totaling $___________ to fund capital improvements at a campus owned or operated and maintained by the joint technological education district.

For debt limit and budget override elections, the ballot question must end in "budget increase, yes" and "budget increase, no." The ballot question must contain the amount of the proposed increase in the budget override over the substitute budget. There should be a statement on the official ballot that discloses the amount of the proposed increase stating:

Any budget increase authorized by this election shall be entirely funded by a levy of taxes upon the taxable property within this school district for the year for which adopted and for ____ subsequent years, shall not be realized from monies furnished by the state and shall not be subject to the limitation on taxes specified in article IX, section 18, Constitution of Arizona. Based on an estimate of assessed valuation used for secondary property tax purposes, to fund the proposed increase in the school district's budget would require an estimated tax rate of _______________ dollar per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation used for secondary property tax purposes and is in addition to the school district's tax rate which will be levied to fund the school district's revenue control limit allowed by law.[19]

If a budget override election is fully funded from other revenue sources other than a property tax levy, the ballot question must disclose the amount of the increase in the proposed budget over the substitute budget. Also, the official ballot must have this statement for elections using revenue sources other than the property tax levy:

Any budget increase authorized by this election shall be entirely funded by this school district with revenues from other than a levy of taxes on the taxable property within the school district for the year for which adopted and for ______ subsequent years and shall not be realized from monies furnished by the state.[20]

Required notice of election

Ninety days (90) must elapse between when a school bond or budget override election is called and the actual date of the election.[21][22] The wording of the bond measure must be sent to the Arizona Legislative Council 85 days before the election.[23] When a budget override election is called for, an informational pamphlet and sample ballot must be published 40 days before the election.[24]

See also

BallotpediaAvatar bigger.png
Suggest a link

External links

References

  1. "Arizona Legislature" Arizona School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 15.481(A) Arizona Revised Statutes)
  2. "Arizona Legislature" Arizona School Finance Law(Referenced Statute 15-482(A-B))
  3. "Arizona Legislature" Arizona School Finance Law(Referenced Statute 15-481(I))
  4. "Arizona Legislature" Arizona School Finance Law(Referenced Statute 15-482(C))
  5. "Arizona Legislature" Arizona School Finance Law(Referenced Statute 15-482(E), 1-2)
  6. "Arizona Legislature" Arizona School Finance Law(Referenced Statute 15-481(E),(F))
  7. "Arizona Legislature" Arizona School Finance Law(Referenced Statute 15-481(E))
  8. "Arizona Legislature" Arizona School Finance Law(Referenced Statute 15-482(E))
  9. "Arizona Legislature" Arizona School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 15-491(A) 1-4)
  10. "Arizona Legislature" Arizona School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 15-491(K)
  11. "Arizona Legislature" Constitution of Arizona(Referenced Statute Article X, Section 8.1)
  12. "Arizona Legislature" Arizona Constitution(Referenced Statute Article X, Section 8 Arizona Constitution)
  13. "Arizona Legislature" Arizona School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 15-404(B))
  14. "Arizona Legislature" Arizona School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 15-406(B))
  15. "Arizona Legislature" Arizona School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 16.204(B) Arizona Revised Statutes)
  16. "Arizona Legislature" Arizona School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 16.204(C) Arizona Revised Statutes)
  17. "Arizona Legislature" Arizona Bond Law(Referenced Statute 15-481(A))
  18. "Arizona Legislature" Arizona School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 15.491 (4) Arizona Revised Statutes)
  19. "Arizona Legislature" Arizona School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 15.481 (E) Arizona Revised Statutes)
  20. "Arizona Legislature" Arizona School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 15.481 (F)(1-3) Arizona Revised Statutes)
  21. "Arizona Legislature" Arizona School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 15.403(A) Arizona Revised Statutes)
  22. "Arizona Legislature" Arizona School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 15.481(A) Arizona Revised Statutes)
  23. "Arizona Legislature" Arizona School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 15.491(5) Arizona Revised Statutes)
  24. "Arizona Legislature" Arizona School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 15.481(B) Arizona Revised Statutes)