SIERRA VISTA — The Cochise College governing board unanimously approved a 2 percent primary property tax increase Tuesday following a Truth in Taxation hearing.
The increase will raise property taxes for those living in the Cochise College District while bringing an additional $437,255 to the college.
Three people who spoke in opposition of the rate increase during the hearing public comment segment, questioned why the rate increase is needed and claimed the college consistently raises property taxes every year.
Hereford resident Bill Wade urged the college to freeze and even reduce taxes by 2 percent, pointing to a “$20 million reserve” fund.
“We need a well-run, fiscally responsible college working hand-in-hand with the county and its residents to benefit everybody with reasonable, fair and equitable taxation,” he said.
Another opponent of the tax hike, Michelle Landis, said the college has provided “insufficient justification to county citizens at large” to substantiate a primary property tax increase. Echoing Wade, she spoke of the $20 million reserve fund.
“What plans does the college have for the next fiscal year that will deplete all or nearly all of the $20 million and require more?” Landis asked.
Currently, the total tax rate on a $100,000 home in the Cochise College District is $235.52. With the 2 percent rate increase, that amount goes to $240.23. The additional $437,255 will help the college meet extra costs from the minimum-wage increase.