HLC Self Study
Chapter 5 Graphic

Core Component 2B

Estrella Mountain Community College’s resource base supports its educational programs and its plans for maintaining and strengthening their quality in the future.

The Maricopa County Community College District – Revenue Sources

The Maricopa County Community College District receives the majority of its operating funds from three primary sources: property taxes (57 percent), student tuition and fees (29 percent) and the State of Arizona (7 percent). Other revenue sources include fund balance and miscellaneous transfers (7 percent). 

Figure 26

Property Taxes

Property taxes are a major revenue source of support for the general operations and capital needs of the District. These tax revenues are generated through growth in property values and additional new properties in Maricopa County. In Fiscal Year 2010-2011 (FY2010-2011), property taxes amounted to $376 million, which equals 57 percent of the General Fund revenue budget of $655.4 million.

Each year the Maricopa County Community College District Governing Board votes on a potential increase in property taxes. The maximum increase permitted by statute and Constitutional provisions is 2 percent per year. With the exception of FY2009-2010 and FY2010-2011, the Maricopa Governing Board has approved a 2 percent increase on property tax revenues yearly.  However, according to the Arizona Constitution such unused capacity from the past may be levied by the Governing Board. 

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees combined are the second largest revenue source in the General Fund for the District. Revenues are projected based on enrollment growth and any potential increases in tuition and/or student fees per credit hour.  The $11.5 million increase in FY2010-2011 was due to the anticipated increase in student enrollment. 

As previously noted, on March 22, 2011, the Maricopa County Community College Governing Board approved a tuition and fee increase of $5.00 per credit hour for FY2011-2012. The last tuition increase was Board approved for the FY2008-2009 budget at $71 per credit hour.

The District tuition rate remains competitive compared to the national average for community colleges and local universities. The current tuition rate of $2,130 for a full-time student, is lower than the national average ($2,728) for two-year colleges, and significantly lower than the tuition rate at Arizona State University ($8,128). Historically, the District has maintained a tuition rate lower than the national average for a two-year college.

Figure 27

Figure 28

State Appropriation

State aid is the third largest revenue source and it is appropriated based on a statutory formula. Given the economic recession and the State’s budget shortfalls, this formula is no longer valid. For FY2010-2011, state aid represents approximately $45.3 million, or 7 percent, of the $655 million budget. However, the budget that has been approved by the Governor includes an 85 percent cut in the District’s state appropriation for FY2011-2012. Consequently, effective July 1, 2011, the District’s budget will be reduced by $35.8 million to bring the State Aid down to $6.9 million, or 1 percent, of the General Fund budget.