School tax hearing is Aug. 6

Budget delayed due to union negotiations

The Grand County School District will hold a public hearing at its office on 400 East next week to allow residents to address the board about taxation. Photo by Carter Pape

The Grand County School District will hold a Truth in Taxation hearing next week after a minor budget increase – which district staff says is no longer needed – triggered a state law that mandates municipalities to hold such a meeting.

According to district Business Administrator Robert Farnsworth, negotiations with the local teachers’ union took longer than anticipated, pushing the district board to the brink of the state’s deadline for setting tax rates.

Because of this and the “tight time window of receiving tax numbers from the state and setting the tax rates by the June 22 deadline,” the school district board said in a press release, the board decided to tentatively add a $75,000 “safety blanket” to the budget and to thus hold a Truth in Taxation hearing “to allow for more time to sort out the intricate details of the budget.”

Since the June deadline, district administration determined that “demands of the budget can be met with the existing taxes,” according to the board’s statement, and recommended the board ignore the $75,000 request.

Although the increase is no longer needed, and although it represented a less than 1% tax rate increase, the hearing must continue as scheduled by Utah statute.

State-mandated notices about the meeting published in July indicated that a 4.14% increase on property taxes would take place during the upcoming year. However, most of the increase covers payments on a bond that voters approved in 2008. That vote concerned the construction of HMK and the high school’s Technical Science and Arts Center.

Construction of the new middle school, work on which has already begun, will not require a tax increase, according to the board, since it has “slowly raised funds” over the past eight years to cover the cost of the project.

The Truth in Taxation hearing will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6 in the Grand County School District office at 264 South 400 East. Questions can be sent to Farnsworth at [email protected].