Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

July 11, 2019
Voters will be asked to back tax hike for new schools

If OK’d by voters, average homeowner will pay $128 more in property taxes 

The Tooele County School Board will ask voters this fall to support a net property tax increase for the school district of $128 per year on the average $250,000 home.

The school board selected a finance strategy for its proposed $190 million bond during its meeting Tuesday night at the school district office.

If approved by voters in November, proceeds of the bonds will be used to build a new high school in Overlake, a new junior high in Stansbury Park, a new elementary school in Grantsville, expansion of the Stansbury High School lunchroom, and security upgrades for existing schools.

The school board determined the projects to be included in the bond and the bond amount during its June 11 meeting.

During their Tuesday night meeting, school board members reviewed six different strategies for issuing the $190 million in bonds. Each strategy involved a different scenario for when the bonds would be issued and staggering principal payments around current debt that will fall off or making equal yearly payments.

Board member Alan Mouritsen made a motion for the board to adopt the scenario with the least net tax impact on residential property — $72.75 on a $250,000 home. Mouritsen’s motion was defeated with a 1-6 vote.

Board member Melissa Rich proposed adopting the scenario with a $128.41 net impact on a $250,000 home.

“The difference between $128 and $72 might look like a lot,” she said. “But when you break it down, it’s $4 a month. With that $4 a month, we save $4 million in debt payments and we get the money from the bonds faster.”

The $72 net impact scenario involved issuing the bonds over a four-year period, with $50 million issued in each of the first three years and $40 million in the fourth year. It also staggered principal payments, paying more as other debt falls off.

The $128 net impact scenario called for issuing the bonds over three years, with $50 million issued in each of the first two years and $90 million in the third year. Payments would be made in equal yearly payments.

Under the $128 net impact scenario, the school district would have enough cash flow from the bonds to start building both the new junior high school and the new elementary school after the new high school is completed, Rich said.

Rich made a motion to adopt the $128 net residential impact scenario.The motion passed with a 5-2 vote. Board members Mouritsen and Scott Bryan opposed the motion.

The school board will adopt the formal legal resolution for the bond and set the language to be used on the election ballot during its Aug. 13 meeting at 7 p.m. in the school district board meeting room 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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