Court Says Taxpayers In Tucson Unified School District Not Entitled To State Assistance

By Jill Ryan
Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Published: Wednesday, August 11, 2021 - 1:02pm
Audio icon Download mp3 (983.32 KB)

Taxpayers in the Tucson Unified School District are not entitled to state assistance for money spent on the cost of court-ordered desegregation programs, the state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.

The Arizona Constitution caps primary property taxes at 1% of a home’s full cash value. Since 1985, desegregation program expenses were part of the primary tax, and therefore if the cap was hit, the excess would be paid for by the state.

But in 2018, Gov. Doug Ducey and the Legislature changed that and moved desegregation costs to a secondary tax category, leaving Tucson Unified School District residents on the hook for $8.1 million.

The unanimous court decision states that Arizona lawmakers were within their rights to declare such expenses the sole responsibility of district residents. 

Politics Education Race + Diversity