Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

June 13, 2019
School district proposes $174M budget without tax increase

The Tooele County School District is looking at a balanced budget with no tax increase for the 2020 fiscal year.

“The budget is balanced without dipping into the fund balance,” said Lark Reynolds, the school district’s business administrator. “And the budget is based on the certified tax rate.”

Reynolds presented the proposed budget to the school board during its meeting Tuesday night at the school district office.

Total expenses for all school district funds for 2020 is budgeted at $174 million, an $11.6 million increase over the 2019 initial approved budget.

The majority of that increase will be covered by a $9.3 million increase in state revenue and a $1.2 million increase in non-property tax local revenue.

About $8.2 million of the increase is for salary and benefit expenses.

The school district announced in May that the salary schedule for teachers will be adjusted upward by $1,800, starting with the salary for a first year teacher increasing from $42,000 to $43,800.

Tooele County School District Superintendent Scott Rogers pointed out that the increase falls short of the $50,000 starting salary offered by some school districts in Salt Lake County.

“We have worked hard the last two years on teacher compensation,” he said. “We know there is a second round of salary wars, but we may not be able to get to the $50,0000 mark that is out there, but our goal may be not in one bite, but maybe two or three bites.”

If the school district adopts the proposed budget, it will not need to hold a truth in taxation hearing because the budget is based on adopting the certified tax rate.

The certified tax rate is the calculated rate that will yield the same amount of property tax revenue for 2020 as collected by the school district in 2019. It also includes additional revenue from new growth — property not on the 2019 tax rolls.

Expenses for instructional services in the proposed 2020 budget total $94 million, which is 54% of total expenses for all funds. Costs for administrative services, including district administration, school building administration, accounting and fiscal services, and human resources, total $11.3 million, or 6.5% of total expenses.

The remaining 39.5% of total expenses are distributed among student transportation, staff support services, facilities operations and maintenance, facilities acquisition and construction, debt service, and non-instructional services.

While the 2020 fiscal year budget requires no property tax increase, the school board continues to consider asking voters to approve in November a general bond for new school construction, school safety, and other capital projects.

The school board will hold a public hearing on the 2020 fiscal year budget on June 18 at 7 p.m. in the board meeting room of the district office at 92 Lodestone Way in Tooele City.

 

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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