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Organization urges people to consider tax hikes for education

Organization urges people to consider tax hikes for education
Posted at 5:44 PM, Jan 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-15 19:44:09-05

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Pima County voters have said no to higher taxes in the past, but one local organization is urging people to re-think their stance on higher taxes.

They say people should be open to the idea of a tax hike -- if it helps education.

The metropolitan education commission wants to lay out their argument -- in an open forum, on Wednesday, January 15th.

The Executive Director of the Metropolitan Education Commission says tax increases specifically for educational funding, could mean a brighter future for Tucson’s kids.

“There's a lot of resistance to paying taxes, but those taxes are very beneficial for the public good and specifically for education,” Benavidez told KGUN9.

She stated the tax system plays a vital role in how educational resources are distributed throughout Tucson.

“It really is like a tale of two cities. The average income in the zip codes that are located in the southern part of our city, is about $24,000. On the northern side of our city, the average income is about $90,000,” she said.

Benavidez added raising taxes could provide schools in lower income areas more funding. She then continued to say schools that receive tax funding are able to have a full staff of certified teachers and counselors; and a rigorous curriculum that helps prepare students for higher education.

“Those schools that are in the low income, high minority districts, don't have some of those,” she told KGUN9.

It is an issue that hits home for her.

“I didn't have that. And my educational journey has been very challenging,” Benavidez said.

Now she hopes this forum sheds light on the importance of tax funding for school resources, and has a challenge for state lawmakers.

“If you have not been in a school lately, go to different schools in the four regions that we have here in the city of Tucson, so that people can see for themselves where the lack of resources are,” Benavidez told KGUN9.

You can find information on the forum below.

When: Wednesday, January 15, 2020 from 5:30pm – 6:30pm

Where: Santa Rosa Recreation Center

1080 S. 10th Avenue, Tucson