Budget Override Election FAQs

Littleton Elementary School District appreciates your interest in the district and upcoming election. To help keep community members informed, we will post information pertaining to school elections on this page. Below is a list of frequently asked questions and answers about Littleton Elementary School District’s budget override election.

When will the maintenance and operations (M&O) override be on the ballot?

School Districts in Arizona and communities they serve are able to provide important educational opportunities beyond the State funding. Arizona State Law allows school districts to increase their M&O budget up to 15% of the Revenue Control Limit (RCL) with voter approval. The RCL is a state formula that determines how much funding school districts are allowed to spend each year.

What is a budget override?

Arizona State Law allows school districts to increase their M&O budget up to 15% of the Revenue Control Limit (RCL) with voter approval. The RCL is a state formula that determines how much funding school districts can spend each year.

Why does a school district ask for voter approval to exceed its operating budget?

Exceeding the operating budget allows the district to provide a higher quality education, offer more programs and services to better meet the needs of students, and adequately prepare children to be successful contributing members of our community.

How long are M&O override authorizations good for?

Override elections provide funding to the school district for seven years. The district receives the full amount of the approval for five years; in the sixth year, the amount decreases by one-third; and in the seventh year, the amount decreases by two-thirds. Voters must reauthorize the override by the seventh year, or the district no longer receives the override funding.

What is Littleton district's history of overrides?

Littleton has successfully passed override elections for 20 years, enabling the district to provide a higher standard of education for students.

For what is the 15 percent override used?

The 15 percent maintenance and operations (M&O) budget override enables districts to use the funding for maintenance and operations expenses like hiring additional teachers to reduce class size, providing tuition free full-day kindergarten, or offering other educational programs. This continuation of the current override supports the district’s efforts to help maintain present levels of services in all maintenance and operations programs.

Override funding will be utilized for:

  • tuition-free full-day kindergarten and student support programs;
  • lower class sizes to support effective levels of instruction;
  • teacher and staff salary levels that attract and retain quality staff;
  • special programs such as music, art, and physical education; and
  • after school programs such as athletics and clubs.
What happens if the override is not renewed?

If the override is not renewed, based on the current fiscal year, the district will have to cut approximately $5.3 million dollars from its budget. The reduction will come in phases over three years, and will require Littleton District to reduce its annual budget by one-third each year as the chart indicates below:

Impact to budget without override dollars:

Budget Year Fiscal Year Budget Reduced By
First Year 2025–2026 -$1,766,666
Second Year 2026–2027 -$1,766,667
Third Year 2027–2028 -$1,766,667
Total Reduction Over Three Years -$5,300,000

*The district’s budget changes from year to year based on legislative action and enrollment figures.

Without this override, class sizes will increase and staffing for current programs will be reduced or eliminated.

How does the override affect my tax rate?

The override election will not affect your taxes because voters have consistently authorized the district to have these programs for many years now. Even though property values and tax rates will vary over time, taxes paid will not increase because it is already built into the overall tax rate; this is a continuation of the current override.

How much will the override cost the average tax payer?

The property tax calculation and assessment process in Arizona can be confusing. First, the County Assessor assigns a Limited Property to your property, which may be significantly different from Market Value. The Limited Property value for a home is then calculated at 10% of the property value as provided for in State Statue to calculate the assessed Value. The Assessed Value divided by 100, times the tax rate (set in August each year) determines property tax billed in September.

If you access the Maricopa County Treasurer website, you can find the assessed value for your home. You will need your tax parcel number (will be on the tax statement) or use your street address to find the specific assessed valuation for your home.

To find your assessed value, please view the Maricopa County website.

Based on the average home value information from the Arizona Department of Revenue, the average cost to an owner of a home in the District with a limited property value of $131,260 would be approximately $194 per year.

$131,260 X 10% = $13,126 divided by $100 = $131.26 X $1.4762 (estimated tax rate per $100 if the M&O Override is approved) = $194/year or $16/month or $0.53/day, less than a cup of coffee.

When does voting begin?

Dates and Timelines:

  • Informational Pamphlet Mailed to Voters – October 3, 2023
  • Last Day to Register to Vote for the November 7 Election – October 10, 2023
  • Early Voting Begins – October 11, 2023
  • Election Day – November 7, 2023