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TAX NEWS - June 2010

MCC board OKs hike in tax levy

BULLHEAD CITY — The governing board of Mohave Community College unanimously voted to approve an increased property tax levy during a Truth in Taxation hearing Thursday morning in Lake Havasu City.

"None of us want to increase our taxes," said District 1 Trustee Judy Selberg, but it would be fiscally irresponsible not to do so.

District 2 Trustee Kathleen Hodel reminded those in attendance that MCC is a powerful economic factor in Mohave County.

"We really are an economic engine," she said, noting that MCC spends nearly $11 million on goods and services locally each year.

According to documentation produced by MCC, the Mohave County Assessor notifies the college of the levy limit calculations each year. The 2010-11 levy limit is $18,260,641. This limit is 2 percent higher than the maximum amount previously calculated, approximately $358,793, and accounts largely for inflation. For the taxpayer, this equates to an additional $1.55 for every $100,000 of assessed property value.

During another special meeting immediately following the hearing, the board approved adoption of an approximately $35.7 million budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year.

In action taken during the regular meeting, the board approved an articulation agreement with Saint Joseph's College of Maine (SJCM) in relation to the MCC nursing program. Under the agreement, nursing students holding an associate's degree from MCC will be able to transfer to SJCM with nearly senior status. It is the first agreement of its kind between MCC and an out-of-state school.

In a related matter, Northern Arizona University and Arizona State University have opened new avenues for students to obtain a bachelor of arts degree from those school after completing associate's degrees at MCC. The board listened to presentations from NAU and ASU regarding these augmented programs for both physical attendance and online schooling.

In other action:

The board voted to approve an intergovernmental agreement with the Governor's Office of Economic Recovery to accept an award of stimulus money from the federal government. MCC will receive $398,469 as the second phase of Economic Recovery Funding.

Dr. H. Lynn Cundiff, vice president for administration, gave a presentation outlining a new policy for obtaining computers for both administrative and student use. The college was previously leasing computers instead of purchasing them outright, but this resulted in increased fees and interest paid out for computers that were not college property and therefore unalterable. By purchasing 123 student computers for the labs, 82 laptops and 74 laptops for new nursing facilities at a cost of $290,847.57, $62,189.96 of which would be paid through federal grants. The college would save money on the interest payments and would have computers that could be altered to suit the needs of the college. The board unanimously approved the action.

The board will reconvene at 9 a.m. Aug. 5 at the Neal Campus in Kingman.
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