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Tue, Nov. 30

WUSD looks to continue school budget override
Mail-in only ballots due Nov. 2

A budget override for Williams Unified School District will be voted on Nov. 2. (Wendy Howell/WGCN)

A budget override for Williams Unified School District will be voted on Nov. 2. (Wendy Howell/WGCN)

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — Williams voters will once again be asked whether to adopt a budget override for Williams Unified School District this November.

Voters of WUSD will be asked to approve the continuation of an override, allowing the district to maintain current programs and operations which benefit the students and community.

This will be a by mail election.

Since 1999, voters in Williams have supported a 10 percent override every five years to supplement the Maintenance and Operating budget that goes toward teacher salaries and student programs at WUSD.

An override allows school districts to boost their Maintenance and Operations and/or capital budgets through a voter approved property tax. This override is to maintain $500,000 in additional allowed revenue for the district’s yearly budget. It is not a new tax.

By approving the override, school taxes will remain the same as what voters approved several years ago.

There will be no increase in the school taxes that residents in the district currently pay.

In the past, voters agreed that temporary, local property-tax-funded measures are needed to help offset longstanding cuts in state education funding.

The override lasts seven years, but many school districts ask voters to approve a renewal in year four or five to maintain a consistent level of funding. If not renewed, the amount decreases by one-third in the sixth year and two-thirds in the seventh year.

Since 1999, property owners have paid $4-7 per month for the override.

If I vote ‘yes’: Passing the override allows the school to continue to collect the tax that property owners approved and have paid since 1999.

If I vote ‘no’: Not passing the override removes the tax paid by property owners since 1999.

The money from the override can only be spent to maintain a reduction in class size, maintain essential positions and minimize reductions to staff salaries and benefits, according to the Williams Unified School District Governing Board.

“The school district provides opportunities for students to be involved in extracurricular clubs and athletics,” the board said. “The override monies support these efforts by ensuring we can maintain positions necessary to offer these aspects of a well-rounded education.”

The negative effect of any reduction in override funding will be compounded by the increasing costs of utilities, technology, services and supplies, according to the governing board.

“If the override is not approved again, the district would lose $500,000 in funding, which would severely impact the students,” the board said.

Vote is by mail only

Ballots for the Nov. 2 WUSD Special Election have been mailed to all registered voters residing within the boundaries of the school district. This is a ballot-by-mail election so there will not be any polling places on Election Day.

Registered voters in the WUSD that have not received a ballot by Wednesday, Oct. 13, should call the Elections Office. Voters that spoiled their ballot or need a replacement ballot may go to the Williams City Hall, 113 South First Street, during normal business hours.

Voters have until 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 2, to return their voted ballots. Voters returning their voted ballots by mail should put them in the mail by Oct. 26 to ensure they arrive by the deadline. Ballots may also be dropped off on Election Day at the Williams City Hall, 113 South 1st Street, Williams, or the Elections Office, 110 E. Cherry Ave, Flagstaff. Voted ballots may also be dropped off in the ballot drop box in front of the Williams Library.

For voting assistance, call the Elections office at (928) 679-7860; or toll-free (800) 793-6181.

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