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Proposition 481 Impact

Proposition 481 Impact

On Election Day 2020, Pima County voters overwhelmingly recognized the College’s pre-eminent role in educating the workers who will drive the revitalization of Southern Arizona’s economy in the 2020s.

Nearly 70 percent of the county’s voters approved Proposition 481, which enables the College to spend revenue it already has collected more flexibly, so that we can enhance services to students and the community.

No Impact on Taxes

To be clear: Proposition 481 was not a tax increase. In fact, passage of Proposition has enabled the College to keep property tax rates for the 2021-22 tax year at current levels. For the second straight year, the College did not seek the 2 percent property tax increased allowed by Arizona law. We recognize the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the county’s taxpayers and seek to lessen their burden. 

And thanks to passage of Proposition 481, Pima did not increase tuition or College-wide fees for the 2021-22 school year. The College historically has sought to keep tuition low, for we know that many of our students are of extremely modest means.

Proposition 481 modernized a 40-year-old formula that limited College expenditures. Its passage stabilizes the College’s revenue outlook. We are like any organization navigating the fast-changing economic and technological landscape of the 2020s: We seek predictability and constancy in revenues so that we may allocate resources for the maximum benefit of our constituents.

Family-Sustaining Careers

But Proposition 481 has done more than help stabilize the College’s fiscal outlook. It unlocks constraints so we can make future investments in infrastructure and training. These expenditures are necessary to provide the county’s learners with skills that lead to jobs paying a family-sustaining wage, and that keep our region competitive in an era of accelerating economic and technological change. 

The breadth of initiatives that approval of Proposition 481 allows Pima to embark on highlights the incredible potential of our county to be a bastion of economic vitality. Pima recognizes, as do many in our region’s business/industry sector, that a well-educated workforce drawn from all races, ethnicities and gender identities will enhance the competitiveness not only of their business but of Tucson’s overall economy. 

The passage of Proposition 481 positions Pima to expand public-private partnerships, offer new on-ramps to education (such as PimaFastTrack), and fill our cutting-edge Centers of Excellence with the best equipment and resources, so that everyone who comes through our doors – including those held back by centuries of structural racism – has the opportunity at family-sustaining employment, the key element of economic equity.

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