This month marks the fifth year since the last Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) budget override, which means ballots will be arriving in mailboxes soon for residents to consider whether to vote for the next override.

A “yes” vote would result in approximately $21.4 million per year for the next five years (through 2025) in educational funding without increasing property tax rates. This is achieved by simply continuing the property taxation level that is already in place. The tax impact is about 38 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. 

SUSD has 29 schools with 22,000 students in Scottsdale, East Phoenix, Paradise Valley and Tempe. Data from maricopa.gov shows the district also has one of the lowest tax rates in the Valley.

The override funds competitive teachers’ salaries, full-day kindergarten classes, maintaining current class sizes, music, arts and world language classes, a continued emphasis on technology and certain athletic programs and extra-curricular activities, plus a continuation of staff professional development. 

Since 1980, the Arizona Legislature has allowed school districts to supplement their budgets with a 15 percent budget override, which must be voter-approved. 

This is a mail-in ballot only vote. Ballots will be sent to voters starting October 9 and must be mailed back by October 29. The results will be announced on November 5. 

For more: susd.org. 


What Should I look for on my ballot?

Override ballot language: “budget increase, yes” or “budget increase, no.” While it says “increase” it actually may be a continuation from a previous override, and not an actual increase on your tax bill. 

Bond ballot language: “bond approval, yes” and “bond approval, no.” 

I’m only one person, why does my vote matter?

Every vote counts. In November 2018, 65% of registered voters participated in the midterm election. Turnout for special elections is generally much lower. Meanwhile, over the last seven years, dozens of bond and override elections across the state passed or failed by less than a few hundred votes and some by less than 10 votes.

For more: expectmorearizona.org.