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MUSD Decreases Secondary Tax Rate for 6th Consecutive Year

“The education of children is a community investment and we
thank you for your continued support of public education.”


The Marana Unified School District considers the amount constituents contribute annually through combined property taxes to be of upmost importance. Therefore, in keeping with our commitment to our community MUSD has reduced the secondary tax rate for the sixth consecutive year. However, the recent change in the Qualifying Tax Rate established by the State of Arizona has resulted in an increase in the combined property tax rate for 2013. Despite the increase, it is still anticipated that that the average home owner will not experience an increase in school related taxes.


We want to take this opportunity to educate our community on the cominbed property tax rate and the control, or lack of control, a school district has on this rate. When a resident or business owner analyzes’ their combined property tax rate statement, there are two line items which make up this rate: the secondary tax rate and the primary tax rate. The total combined property tax rate for tax year 2012/2013 is $5.5863 per hundred dollars of assessed value. This rate represents an overall increase of $.3816 per hundred dollars of assessed value from last year’s combined rate of $5.2047. According to the Pima County Assessor’s Office, the average assessed value of a home in our District is $148,079. Therefore the average home owner will see a combined property tax bill of $827.54, an increase of $9.48 annually, or $0.79 a month.


While the secondary tax rate is set by the County Board of Supervisors, a school district does have some ability in controlling this tax rate. The secondary tax rate encompasses all voter approved initiatives, such as gentax table web.pngeral obligation bonds and overrides. As we promised our community, MUSD has continued to lower this rate for the past six consecutive years by structuring debt payments appropriately and using debt service dollars. In 2007, the secondary tax rate was $2.05 per $100,000 of assessed valuation. The rate for 2013 is $1.6444 - a 19.8 % reduction for tax payers as compared to 2007. 


Unfortunately, a school district has limited or no control over the primary tax rate which pays for approximately 50% of operational costs within a school district- Maintenance and Operations, Soft Capital, Unrestricted Capital and Adjacent Ways. This rate is solely determined by multiplying the State of Arizona’s Qualifying Tax Rate (QTR) by the primary assessed value of the school district. As total state assessed primary property values decline, the state is faced with either: 1) increasing their funding to k-12 school districts or 2) increasing the QTR. The state has chosen to increase the QTR by 10.76 %, from $1.7682 to $1.9585. In essence, this method of computing the primary tax rate results in a shift in school funding from the state to the local tax payer. 


Despite the overall increase in the combined property tax rate, it is anticipated that the average home owner will not experience an increase in school related taxes as a result of the increase in the Home Owner’s Rebate.


If you seek further clarification on property tax rates, please contact our Chief Financial Officer, Dan Contorno, at 682-4757. Thank you for your continued support of public education in your community.