Trustees of Maricopa County Community College District, Ariz. gave preliminary approval last week to a 2% increase in the property tax rate that would bring in an estimated $8 million a year.

The board also approved a tuition increase. The final vote on the tax increase is set for May.

School officials said the revenue from the tax increase and the $12.5 million a year from higher tuition is needed because of a drop in state aid for the 10-college district.

State funding fell from $45 million in fiscal 2010 to an expected $8 million in fiscal 2014.

The district expects to generate an additional $11 million in tax revenues in 2014 due to new construction in Phoenix and its suburbs, but new mandatory expenses — including higher health care costs and retirement fund contribution — are estimated at $6.5 million.

The district’s $600 million of outstanding GO bonds are rated triple-A across the board.

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