Arizona Western College District residents in Yuma and La Paz counties will notice a savings on their property taxes this year. Residents will see a onetime cost savings of 44.24 percent on the secondary property tax levy, due to over $2.4 million in reserve funds being applied to tax payer bond obligations.
Per regulation, colleges can accumulate 10 percent of the necessary bond obligation each year in their reserves to protect against defaults. Shahrooz Roohparvar, AWC Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services, and Dr. Daniel Corr, AWC President, recommended that the accumulation of reserve funds from the past several years be applied to the secondary levy obligation of AWC residents for Fiscal Year 2018. This reduced the secondary levy from $5,598,721 to $3,121,117. Tax payers will realize this savings on their 2017-2018 property taxes, which are due in October and April.
“As stewards of the public trust, we have an obligation to review our financials and openly discuss how best to apply funds we receive from the two counties,” said Roohparvar. “We thought it best to apply the reserve to the bond obligations this year to give the counties a break.”
Moving forward, AWC plans to apply the prior year’s reserves to offset the next year’s bond obligations and thereby avoid an accumulation of reserves over an extended period of time.
The combined secondary levy and the primary levy of $33,797,653 for Fiscal Year 2018 will result in an overall property tax savings of 6.8 percent supporting AWC operations and obligations. The cumulative property tax savings for La Paz County it will be $373,054 and for Yuma County residents will be $2,104,550.