Voters approve Miami Schools budget override

David Sowders/Arizona Silver Belt

In a November 7 special election, Miami Unified School District #40 asked district voters to approve an increased override of its maintenance and operation budget – and, according to unofficial results from the Gila County Elections Department, the voters authorized that request.

As of Friday, Nov. 10 the override request was passing 55-45%, with 481 ballot-casting voters checking yes and 395 no. The district was seeking to continue and increase its current 10% override to 15% for fiscal years 2025-2031, reducing the override percentage by a third in the last two fiscal years.

With voter approval of the request, MUSD’s proposed fiscal year 2024-2025 budget will be $9.8 million, an increase of $520,000 over the current budget. For the same fiscal year, the override’s total amount will be around $1.1 million.

Funding for the override will come from a levy on taxable property in the district, with an estimated secondary tax rate of $0.83 per $100 of net assessed valuation. MUSD Superintendent Dr. Sherry Dorathy, in an email to the Silver Belt, said most district residents would not see significant change in their property taxes. 

She added that the average homeowner with an assessed property value of $50,000 would see an average of $43.35. 

According to a voters’ information pamphlet on the election, the average value of a home in the district was just over $51,000.

“As with everything else, the cost to fund programs, salaries and benefits has risen,” said Dorathy, adding that the increased override percentage was needed to continue such programs as advanced placement/dual credit classes, all-day kindergarten, music and band, and physical education and athletics. “The override funding will be used to pay for teachers (in these programs),” she said. It will also help with small class sizes. 

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