Many Pinal County residents live on very tight family budgets based on fixed incomes. However, that limitation did not stop the Central Arizona College District 4, under the leadership of board president Rita Nader from increasing their property taxes a whopping 19.6 % this year.
After a very heated Truth in Taxes hearing, where the majority of residents who spoke were adamantly against the tax increase, Rita Nader told people that the tax increase was needed.
However to Dick Hudgins, Colonel USAF, (ret.), and Richard Brinkley, who formed the CAC Recall Committee, and formally filed for the recall of Nader, the word “needed” is an interpretation, not a fact.
Brinkley talked to Nader after the Truth in Taxes hearing, telling her that a 35% tax increase was uncalled for during a recession. Nader replied, “We need this tax increase.” Brinkley questioned why? “Need” is an interpretation, not a fact,” he told Nader. Brinkley and others questioned why the CAC Board did not see, in 2009, the economic slump. They asked, “Where was the strategic thinking?”
Brinkley asks, “Who was asleep at the switch? Where was the leadership? The recession was certainly not a secret. Staffing up empty buildings is a waste of money. There is no compelling reason to hit tax payers with a 19.6% property tax increase during a recession. This is a complete abrogation of leadership.”
They say that Nader completely negated Pinal County’s property tax rate decrease of the previous year. The group says that Nader’s “shocking fiscal mismanagement of CAC and excessive length of stay on the CAC board have made Ms. Nader oblivious to the real world effects of an exorbitant property tax increase on her constituents.”
In a statement released after the recall effort was filed with the County Recorder, the groups said that “like most politicians,” Nader “believes herself superior to her constituents.” They are calling for “real world management experience in CAC, not academic theories and postulates. It is time for Nader to go.”
Nader had attempted to increase the rate by 35%, but after much community push-back, finally relented to the nearly 20% increase in a 3-1 vote of the Board.
Despite the decrease in homes values with which the residents have had to struggle, the district opened up the Maricopa and San Tan campuses. Mismanagement and those new campuses have contributed to the “need” for an increase according to recall organizers.