Yuma County schools out $75 million after sales tax expired


Yuma County schools out $75 million after sales tax expired


YUMA, Ariz. (13 On Your Side) - Yuma County school officials are trying to find new ways to stretch their dollars as they look ahead to the next school year.

The statewide voter approved one cent sales tax, which brought $75 million in funding for local schools, expired last Friday.

Now, schools need to figure out how to make up the millions of dollars they can no longer count on.

Governor Jan Brewer's office tell 13 On Your Side those $75 million were distributed among the 59 public and charter schools in Yuma county over the span on three years.

That money has come and gone.

School officials say they are planning for the worst case scenario as a state budget is yet to be approved by the Arizona Legislature.

According to the Yuma County Superintendent of Schools, Tom Tyree, the state budget for the next fiscal year covers some of the money they would have gotten under Prop 100.

But it doesn't cover it all.

Tyree says that Yuma County schools were able to hire teachers and buy supplies for students with the funds allocated by the temporary sales tax.

Now, they must tighten their belts- which can mean getting rid of employees.   

Tyree tells me he's staying hopeful that the state budget for the next fiscal year allocates enough money so that any cuts they still have to make won't directly impact students.

However, that remains uncertain because republican legislative leaders are refusing to approve the budget because it includes parts of the so-called Obamacare.

Meanwhile, Gov. Brewer has vowed to veto all bills that come to her office until the budget is approved.

A similar permanent state sales tax was proposed during last November general elections but it didn't pass.

Gov. Brewer's office says the now expired temporary sales tax brought in $1.8 billion in education spending over the course of three years.