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4/16/2013 6:01:00 AM
Taxes, salaries raised at Mohave Community College
Michael Kearns
Michael Kearns
Kim Steele
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - The board that oversees Mohave Community College approved a 2 percent property tax increase as well as raises for employees last week, but the school still faces a $3.3 million shortfall for the 2013-14 school year.

About a third of that will be made up by changes to other parts of the compensation package, and MCC president Michael Kearns said the rest will come from cuts in the operating budget that are still being prepared, as well as not filling current vacant staff and faculty positions at the college.

Kearns told board members the college can make it through the 2012-2013 school year in the black despite a $1.2 million shortfall from decreases in tuition and fees due to declining enrollment. The college was able to adjust construction and elective costs, such as travel, move staff around to stay on budget and keep unfilled staff positions vacant, he said.

But next year is a different story, said Kearns, because of a difference in revenue and increasing expenses in employee health insurance and benefits. Kearns said there is no funding stability on the state level for colleges, and tuition increases are being eaten up by insurance and benefit costs.

"We're very conscious of how our financial situation develops through the year due to changes in revenue," said Kearns. "Our trend line is moving in the wrong direction. We have an asset that is declining and a liability that is growing, so we have to do something that doesn't sacrifice more jobs or put us in jeopardy."

The 2012-2013 estimated revenue for the college, including upcoming summer school, is $33.3 million, while the estimated revenue for 2013-2014 is $31.34 million. Estimated expenses for 2013-2014 are $34.64 million.

The board passed a 2 percent increase in the property tax levy Friday that will generate $399,499 for the school. For a home valued at $100,000, the increase amounts to $2.26.

The board also approved a compensation and benefit proposal Friday that would reduce the budget $1.8 million and return $1.2 million to the budget shortfall. Staff and faculty reviewed the proposal for a week in March and provided feedback to the administration so changes could be made.

Jennifer Dixon, director of Human Resources, said the proposal includes a 2.4 percent increase for all faculty and staff as well as a $1,500 base increase in pay for faculty. Other compensation and benefit changes include reducing how quickly faculty leave builds up, creating a leave donation program, discontinuing the annual leave cash-out program and revising leave buyback to begin at 10 years of service.

"A lot of hard work and compromise went into this proposal, and the final outcome is much better now," said board member Judy Selberg. "We want to reward people for the work they are doing. We know how important morale is, but we also had to make some hard choices. Now we've put it to rest."

Board member Vance Miller agreed, congratulating the administration and staff on working together to come up with a satisfactory compromise.

"I think this proposal is very fair," he said. "There are always going to be people negatively affected by something like this, but we'll be putting the college in jeopardy if we don't do it. The proposal is good, and I appreciate what the administration has done to consider everyone."

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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, April 20, 2013
Article comment by: Rick Sherwood

Can someone give a detailed answer to ...where do they get their taxing authority? And can it be revoked?

Posted: Friday, April 19, 2013
Article comment by: Here's A Fact

If all the students would stop thinking about the target they might have on their back and speak up then the school would not have any choice but to listen. There is power in numbers and thats what it will take. You can't expect one or two students to fight the war for everyone. Without the students MCC is nothing! The school needs us and it's time to stop being pushed around time to push back. MCC could be a great school if they take out the trash. (as said in another post).

Posted: Friday, April 19, 2013
Article comment by: Leslie Ballor


1. Lowest paid administrators in the state of Arizona for a community college

2. Spends a great deal of it's budget on getting people educated so they can take college level classes for free.

3. Biggest contributor to the economy in Mohave county.
4. Lowest paid staff for a community college in Arizona.
5. This summer and last summer many successful students graduated and will graduate.
6. Biggest employer in Mohave county.
7. Many programs that reach out to high school students, inspiring them to seek higher education.
8. College actually hires students.
9.Free programs for young children.
10. Senior friendly.

1. Kingman would become a ghost town.
2. Young people would leave Mohave county and become the work force of other cities and counties.
3. Home owner property values would plummet.
4. Other employers would close up and move somewhere else.
5. Without jobs home owners would be forced to leave their patches of desert.

If you feel so robbed then close the college down, all you have to do is start the movement, and the county will answer.

I get my degree at the end of this semester, I do not need it any more, but maybe your son or daughter or grandson or grand-daughter or nephew or possibly you.

MCC is here for your benefit, the MCC employees deserve a raise because they have to deal with ignorance, I am an example of that ignorance. MCC gave me a second chance!

Good luck with your thought process.

Oh! I also pay taxes and own a home. A few bucks more each year what a tragedy.

Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew


“ the retail sales taxes across America are lower now than the 1950's?”

Now where did I say that? Why do post such erroneous claptrap? Let’s see EXACTLY what I said, “The tax rates all across America are at the lowest rates since the 1950s.”

“Did you get that from the same book which states the moon is made of green cheese?”

The information comes from tax rates charts dating back to 1913 where taxes were a low of 1% for the poor and 67% for the rich. Following the chart we see an increase in the 1940 with rates ranging from 4% to 94%. The 1950s saw rates from 22% to 92%. The 1960s, 20% to 91% and today 10% to 35%

The one constant is that during the time of high taxation for the rich the country fought in a World War and then moved into the greatest middle class economy ever see on the face of the earth – and the rich got richer while the average family prospered as well. Today we see low tax rates, the rich even richer and an economy that is staggering under the debt of two wars and multiple unfunded mandates put in place by the only criminal ever appointed to the White House.

Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013
Article comment by: Steve Wilkos

Sounds like a lot of Sour Grapes to me.

Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013
Article comment by: T cj

One of the outrages in all of higher education are the inflated salaries of senior administrators, who for the most part, are in charge of their own salaries. But, MCC takes the cake. They claim they have to pay high salaries to get anyone to live in Kingman. Leadership at the college is the worst of any school I have ever encountered. Even the President's wife won't live here with him. Sad sad sad, faculty is under paid and overworked, while senior administrators live high on the taxpayers hog. The hand picked board rubber stamps his autocratic decisions and still turn over in middle management positions (directors) reflect a broken institution with failed leadership.

Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013
Article comment by: Hear Say Not in the least

I sat by and watched as my husband jumped through hoops for this sad excuse for a community college. He wasn't on any grants, loans, that have to be repaid. His instructor didn't understand that he wears bi-focals so to take these off and replace them with regular safety glasses would of left him blind. He sat in the back of the class because after several hours of sitting on hard chairs he had to periodically stand up. He sat in the back so he wouldn't be disruptive. At that point they suspended his classes and he had to have a meeting with the worthless board, instead of hearing him, they passed judgement on him, and said he couldn't be taught. What the heck kind of college is this that determines this? Anyways I've had a great experience attending and graduating from a community college online through Maricopa County. If the college is wondering why the decrease in enrollment, this is a small city, word gets around quick, this college is still in the stone age, go ahead give your raises, but chances are you're going to be preaching (lol) to an empty classroom. I feel bad for this community because unfortunately this college is the only local one available, you'd think they'd take some pride in it and get it right. Not everyone gets grants, some of us pay for college, and besides respect needs to be given no matter how the college is paid for.

Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013
Article comment by: Paul Bearer

@ Mohave County Voter....

Does it matter who paid for our education?

You can bet that most likely the administrator that oversaw our education wasn't raking in nearly 175 thousand dollars a year with pay and all benefits included.

This is Kingman, AZ for crying out loud and that amount of money to run a second rate institution of learning is scandalous.

And just so you know, I was at one time an associate instructor at MCC until politics made me come to my senses.

Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013
Article comment by: Former Student

To: Beautifully Bad, your comment "Because the more students they fail the more money they make!" is totally incorrect. One of the ways MCC makes money is from the State, which bases its funding on the number of students enrolled. So if you flunk out they will essentially lose money.

To: everyone else wanting their hand held, try attending a major University where you are nothing more than a number. MCC with all its problems won't seem so bad.

Posted: Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Article comment by: nnp ..... the retail sales taxes across America are lower now than the 1950's? Did you get that from the same book which states the moon is made of green cheese? And while some countries have higher tax rates, citizens get considerably more benefits from those higher tax rates than what can be expected in America. One example of many is Sweden. Got it?

Posted: Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Article comment by: Super G

Well said @ Beautifully Bad!
@ Mohave County Voter - Really? Attending the governing board meeting will help? I've been around long enough and have been both the student and the employee at MCC and I can tell you that my voice or any others at a governing board meeting is useless. As an employee I had great pay and wonderful working atmosphere. As a student I had nothing - not even a chair that was worth sitting on.

Posted: Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Article comment by: @ Mohave County Voter

Learn the facts about your community college before you spout off - most of the comments posted are hear-say and not based in fact. REALLY??? I have paperwork to back up everything that has been said about MCC ! They charge all these fees and we do not have supplies needed , questions answered, or even the ability to finish one term without DRAMA for the so called staff. Clearly you have not been a student at MCC because if you had you would understand just how bad it is. Just as you said we should go to a community meeting. You should attend class at MCC. This school is a joke!!! I will say some of the staff at MCC will atleast try to answer a question however if you talk to 3 different people you will get 3 different answers. Sounds great right I mean it's not their money lost if you get the wrong answer. We pay fees to have supplies and yet there are none. Use the money I paid for supplies and buy some it's not that hard. This school is losing alot of students and great instructors because of the Joke they have running one program. So raise fees and taxes because of the crap the big boys are allowing to happen. Treat students with respect and give them what they paid for then talk raises!!!!!!

Posted: Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Article comment by: mohave county voter

I hear a lot of crying but apparently none of you attended the Governing Board meeting voicing your opposition. The meetings are open to all speakers that have a VIABLE opinion. Learn the facts about your community college before you spout off - most of the comments posted are hear-say and not based in fact.

@ Up your nose - "senor taxpayers are being screwed"...who paid for your education?

Posted: Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Article comment by: Beautifully Bad

Serious this money needs to be put INTO the school. I got scolded yesterday for asking for Nitrel gloves to wear during dissection since I am allergic to latex. I paid a lab fee but I cannot have the gloves I need...seriously???
Why are we giving a raise to teachers who don't give a damn about the students or the material they are teaching?
Our tuition keeps getting raised yet the admin staff still cannot answer any academic question placed before them, the teachers don't care and are not willing to go the extra mile to see to it that a student understand the material and we're giving them a raise?? Ridiculous! MCC has officially fired all the GOOD teachers and the one are left are crap.

Posted: Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Article comment by: Go Figure

This sounds about right ! MCC is losing students because they have no concern for the students at all. I come from a big city with many choices in colleges and none are as bad as this one. I have been a student at MCC for two years and the last year has been a nightmare. Staff do no have answers to any questions. They change programs mid way through or even two weeks before a class ends and expect students to just deal with it. I have spoke with some of the staff at MCC and stated that I would be attending another college elsewhere because of the problems this school has. MCC is here to help people further their education however it seems the last year has been about making it hard to pass classes. Why? Because the more students they fail the more money they make! Now they want a raise ! REALLY? MCC needs to clean house and lose the main person causing the loss in student body. Treat students like they count and supply the material we pay for. MCC has lost some great instructors and will be losing more this summer and fall. You are also losing many students who would rather drive to Vegas or Flagstaff then to spend one cent more on this school. You wouldn't have to raise taxes if you took out the trash !

Posted: Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Article comment by: justanobody sr

WHY? are they (MCC) allowed to increase the tax rate , without our approval?
lets change that, so no more increases with out voter approval!
64% of my property tax are for school/college.
enough is enough!

Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Article comment by: concerned citizen

I don't think any of you get it!
He's not asking for more money from all you taxpayers. He's just informing you he and the college are taking it!
They don't need your permission isn't that nice of him?

Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Article comment by: Patriot WES

Does the bleeding ever stop? Take it from the tax payers. . What the heck, we don't care what happens to them, all we care about is what happens to our jobs and the school. And they pat themselves on the back saying what a satisfactory compromise they came up with! Can any education or government agency ever live within their means like the rest of us do? And we wonder why the poverty level keeps going up!

Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Article comment by: Pay Raises Really?

I understand that it is necessary to keep morale up. However, when there are students attending classes like biology and chemistry that do not have the required materials because the instructors are told the school can't afford it raises should be tabled to take care of the student needs. The students are already charged "lab fees" for these classes and those are obviously not being allocated properly.

Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Article comment by: Jack A.Lope

I really think it is time for the dentist to go. as for tax increase, has anybody noticed the MCC board can grant a tax increase. wasnt there some war fought in some far off place that had something to do with TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION.

Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“…We are TAXED to the hilt now…”

Actually we are not. The tax rates all across America are at the lowest rates since the 1950s and we are number 25 in the world for level of taxation. Research – prevents stupid statements.

Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Article comment by: A Total Disconnect

If I'm reading this right MCC, facing a $3.3 million shortfall, raised property taxes 2 percent so they could give everyone a raise. It's an intentional disregard of math, so they can keep their "morale" up. Truth be told, you couldn't pry them away with a six foot crow bar. Exactly where is one of their employees, especially a local home owner whose house's value has tanked, going to go? Wouldn't the $400K that the tax will generate be better applied against the anticipated shortfall?

Thirty years ago, in an attempt to lure employees from the private sector, civil service employment/benefit/retirement packages began snowballing to where we find ourselves today. They have a stranglehold on public finances. The original promise of government service was "a modest salary in exchange for a guaranteed modest pension." We need to pull back the reins on this out-of-control sacred cow, and remind them that they work for us, not the other way around.

This isn't public service.

Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Article comment by: patty hertz

So when this poor excuse for a college declines in service to the point there are nothing but empty classrooms, (save the people that make a career of collecting grant money) will our taxes be raised to compensate salaries and maintenance? Just like the rest of Kingman, the product sucks and forces serious students to seek their education else where.

Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Article comment by: Concerned Student

Just once I'd like to hear a story about how the college has decided to solve their problems "before" they take our money not "after!"

Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Article comment by: just a question

So why do your employees get a 2 % raise when the cola for the people on SS only got 1.7 % after getting zip for 3 years ?? We are TAXED to the hilt now and you want more. Maybe the pay should be CUT for the top heavy system. Stop remodling offices etc.

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