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Voters deny CCC tax-hike request

Modified: Wednesday, Nov 6th, 2013

CCC-Page Campus

(UPDATED Nov. 6 with comment from CCC president)

Voters have rejected a request by Coconino Community College to raise property taxes to fund the school, according to the county elections website.

With 32 of 33 precincts reporting, about 55 percent of voters opposed the tax hike, said the website, which was last updated at 9:06 p.m.

"CCC is the community's college. The community has spoken through this vote and the college will now respond," said Dr. Leah L. Bornstein, CCC president.

"Decisions will be made by the district governing board regarding the mission of the college that will allow us to stay in business. This will be one of the most difficult decisions the board has made and the results will be painful to many throughout our county. As always, we will keep you informed as to the changes that will occur."

In the months leading up to the election, CCC officials predicted that if the tax hike—which would have generated about $4.5 million in each of the next seven years—were not approved, educational programs would likely be cut and campuses possibly closed, including the one in Page.

“Everything is on the table if this doesn’t pass,” said Scott Talboom, CCC's executive director of institutional advancement.

Officials said a boom in the number of students, together with substantial cuts in state funding and a flat level of property tax revenue—virtually unchanged since 1991—have put the school in a precarious financial situation, despite an 89 percent increase in tuition over the last six years.

The tax hike would have added $29 per year to the tax bill for a $100,000 home and $543 per year for a business valued at $1 million, according to the county website.

In other election results, David W. Schmuker defeated Heather Rankin in the Big Water mayoral race, according to the Kane County, Utah, elections website.

Schmuker received 136 votes of 192 cast, about 71 percent.

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