Gilbert Public Schools: Taxes Will Increase, One Way or Another!

bigbucksGilbert Public Schools is asking local taxpayers to give them more, more and more money. Because:

It’s for the kids!
The legislature won’t give us all the money we want.
We already spent it all last year.
We know better than you know how to spend your own money.
If you don’t pony up an override and a bond, we’ll just raise your taxes anyway … like we’ve been doing for years.

It must be election season. People are going around wearing ugly cheap tee shirts and knocking on doors to tell Gilbert residents how to vote for the override and bond. Signs are going up and people are spending a lot of time and effort to try and force the Town of Gilbert and the City of Mesa to take down the signs that don’t support the GPS override. The True Believers denigrate anyone who doesn’t see the world  their way    agree with every word they say   volunteer to raise their own taxes. 

Gilbert Public Schools is spending a LOT of money on an all-mail election, figuring that more Yes voters will mail in ballots than would show up at a polling place. GPS also spent a lot of money to have a *consultant* tell them that it’s better to ask for both a bond and an override, since GPS hasn’t been able to get an override passed lately. This time, the Superintendent is going around to special meetings to explain the override and bond in a *neutral* way, but Christina Kishimoto is so arrogant that she spars with citizens who ask inconvenient questions about trivial (to her) matters of technology and taxes and teachers. How dare a parent challenge the omnivorous  omniscient  obnoxious Christina Kishimoto! On her own turf!!

All this self-congratulatory override and bond nonsense is intended to hide the fact that Gilbert taxpayers see increases in their taxes, no matter what. That’s because the Governing Board votes for big budgets, the County honchos look at that and then they raise taxes to match the GPS budget. Superintendent Christina 3-2 Kishimoto and her Rubber Stamp Governing Board know that. They also know it’s not just about this year. The raise in taxes will be for 5 years for override (decreasing the next 2 years) and 20 years for the bond. Plus, there is no guarantee the Governing Board won’t raise rates AGAIN next year. All this while GPS loses students, to the tune of 1,000 or so in the past couple of years.

Here’s how the scam works: if the State of Arizona doesn’t give the school district as much money as the district wants, then the district has the option of raising the extra money by raising the primary tax rate. Part of the problem is that the district creates a budget with built in spending raises before the state creates its own budget. Of course, like any government entity, if they create a budget with a 20% increase, and the state only provides for a 10% increase, the district’s budget has been cut by 10%, and now it’s doom and gloom. In other words, the district creates their budget, finds out how much the state is willing or able to give, then tells the county that their budget number is higher this year. Then the county raises the tax rates to cover the district’s budget. It’s a purposefully complicated process.

Citizens helpfully reviewed their tax records for the years 2011-2015 to confirm the shell game that GPS plays with tax rates. The results:

2011 it was 2.4425/$100;
2012 it jumped to 4.0884/100;
2013 it increased to 4.3953/100;
2014 it increased to 5.2090/100;
2015 it increased to 5.2599/100.

The Pro-Override Forces are circulating information restricted to the *Secondary Property Tax Rates* to fleece the public  show that GPS has lost money and that taxes are going down. Sure they are. <dripping sarcasm> Westie’s birdies helpfully created a graph from statistics on file with the Maricopa County Department of Finance. Whatever tax money GPS lost from overrides winding down, they made up for it in primary tax rate increases, which didn’t require taxpayer approval. Take a look at how the GPS primary tax rates have skyrocketed compared to local school districts since 2011, and this is BEFORE a new override and bond are considered:

PrimaryPropertyTaxRates

If that’s not enough, let’s look at the data from the Arizona Department of Education, which shows EXPENDITURES of $295,484,830 for 2014 compared to $302,559,666 for 2015. That’s a $7 MILLION increase at the same time that the Superintendent and the Governing Board are moaning and groaning because the budget was cut. Right….

ADETaxRates

Now that the legislature is considering a special session to give public schools more money, why would citizens vote additional taxes on themselves before they know how much more money the State of Arizona will be giving to public schools? The legislature can raise taxes. The school district governing boards have been raising taxes every year. So why not give the Good Old Boys more money to scatter among their friends before the legislature gives them more money to scatter among their friends. With vendors  friends like San Tan Ford and CORE Construction waiting in the wings with their hands out for contracts, how could GOBs resist? The old GOBs couldn’t resist. They also didn’t succeed in getting overrides passed.

One way or another, GPS is gonna get ya (and your money).*

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Big Fat Asterisk: Homer Simpson said, “Everyone knows rock n’ roll attained perfection in 1974. It’s a scientific fact.” We know from researching on the Internet that “One Way or Another” was a 1978 hit song by Blondie. It took some close reading to unearth that fact. Cue Homer Simpson again: “Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true!”


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