The Tooele County School District Board of Education voted to drop their proposed property tax increase for 2022 after their Truth in Taxation hearing on Aug. 9, 2022.
Back in June, the Tooele County School Board proposed increasing the property tax rate for 2022 from the certified rate of .007737 to .008370, an 8.2% increase.
The increase would have meant the owner of the $460,000 average value home in the district would pay an additional $160 in property tax for schools in 2022 than if the lower certified rate was adopted by the school board.
The adoption of the certified rate means that $160 average increase is now off the table.
However, the complete picture of local property taxes for schools includes several ups and downs that will leave most property owners paying more in 2022 than in 2021.
As a result of the school board’s Aug. 9 decision, the property tax rate for schools will decrease by almost 17% from 2021, however the value of homes in Tooele County rose by over 40% in 2021.
Property tax is based on the fair market value of property as of Jan. 1 of each year.
For example, a random home in Tooele City was valued at $274,219 in 2021. The owner paid $1,402 in property tax for schools in 2021.
The same property increased to a value of $403,135 in 2022. Under the certified property tax rate for 2022 the owner will pay $1,715 for schools. That’s a $313 or 22% increase even with the lower certified rate.
Another thing that complicates school property tax is that the property tax rate for schools is a compound total of six different tax levies.
Only two of those rates are set annually by local school boards — the capital local levy for capital improvements: for things like fixing cracks in parking lot pavement, replacing school buses, new paint and carpet where needed and other property improvements. The school also sets the board local levy, which may be used to pay for yearly school operations.
There is a local voted levy, which is approved by voters. Tooele County voters approved an increase in this levy from 0.000600 to 0.001600 in 2017.
The GO Bond payment levy is used to pay for voter approved bonds for new schools or improvements and additions to existing schools. State code requires that this levy be set each year at the level required to pay the yearly principal and interest on the bonds. The increase in property values in 2022 lowered this rate from 0.002550 in 2021 to 0.002026 in 2022, a 21% decrease.
The charter school levy is set by a state formula that uses the amount of property tax collected by the local school district and the number of students in the county that attend charter schools.
The final rate included in the school property tax rate is the school basic levy rate.
Each year the state legislature determines how much revenue will come from the basic property tax rate to pay for the state’s minimum or basic school program.
After the end of the legislative session when property tax data is available, the Utah Tax Commission along with the State Board of Education set the basic levy rate at a level where it will produce the revenue budgeted by the state legislature.
While this rate was only increased by 0.54% for 2022, tax and valuation notices indicate that this value increased by 17.9% over what would have been needed to collect the same revenue in 2022 as in 2021.
This increase does not change the amount of total revenue the school district receives from the state. The increase means more revenue will come from local property than from the state Uniform School Fund.
Property valuations, not the tax amount, may be appealed. See boe.tooeleco.org for instructions.
The County Treasurer mails tax notices or “bills” before Nov. 1 each yea. Tax payments are due before Dec. 1.