Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

August 10, 2017
School board will ask voters to back local levy increase

Move will bring additional state funding for county schools 

After dropping its tax rate for 2017, the Tooele County School Board will ask voters to approve an increase that will help the school district capture more state funds.

The school board approved a resolution that will ask voters during the Nov. 2017 election to approve an increase that will take the voter approved local levy from .000600 to .001600. The new tax rate would take effect in 2018.

“We lowered the property tax rate when we approved the budget,” said Maresa Manzione, school board president. “Now we are asking voters to approve this increase so we aren’t leaving state money on the table.”

The state matches every dollar of property tax collected under the voter-approved levy with 92 cents.

Raising the voter-approved levy to .001600 is expected to generate an additional $4 million in local revenue and $3.7 million in state revenue in 2018.

The additional revenue will be used to help the school district recruit and retain employees in a competitive market, according to Manzione.

“The additional revenue will be used for salaries and employee insurance,” she said. “There is a teacher shortage and a bus driver shortage. We have to do something to address employee retention. We did give a raise this year, but we’ve got to do more.”

In June 2017 the school board dropped its combined property tax rate from .009593 to .009122 when it approved the 2017-18 budget.

The school district had held its property tax rate at .009593 since 2014.

In addition to the voter approved local levy, the school district’s tax rate is a combined total of five other levy amounts: a basic levy rate set by the state, the general obligation bond rate set to generate enough funds to pay for voter approved general obligation bonds, a local and capital levy set by the local school board, and a levy that represents the portion of property tax collected that the state requires the school district to share with charter schools.

If the increase in the voter-approved levy is approved in the Nov. 2017 election, Zions Bank has calculated that the owner of a $200,000 home will pay an additional $110 starting in 2018, or $9.17 per month.

School district officials cannot predict what the combined total property tax rate for schools will be in 2018 because they will not know until next June the other levy amounts that comprise the total school levy for 2018.

The lowered property tax rate for schools for 2017 means that the owner of a $200,000 home in 2017, which was also assessed at $200,000 in 2016, will pay $51.81 less for property tax for schools in 2017.

Tim Gillie

Staff Writer at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Tim covers education, Tooele City government, business, real estate, politics and the state Legislature. He became a journalist after a long career as an executive with the Boy Scouts of America. Tim is a native of Washington state and a graduate of Central Washington University.

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