- School district sets property tax rate at .001857
By Myrna Trauntvein
This is the earliest that the property tax rates have been set in the past decade.
Darin Clark, business administrator, was given the task by the Juab School District Board of Education of explaining the tax rate the district had set and what that would mean for the schools.
Property tax cannot be raised without holding Truth in Taxation hearings, he said. Those hearings would have needed to be held prior to the setting of the tax rate for the year.
"That is true unless the increase is due to new growth which is allowed," said Tracy Olsen, board member.
During their July meeting, the Board of Education set the property tax rate for the 2012 tax year at .001857.
"The total revenue for the tax rate will generate $5,825,189," said Clark.
The "certified rate" has been established by the Utah State Tax Commission in order to guarantee the same revenue as last year while meeting additional cost for debt service.
"The tax effect on the local taxpayer on a $150,000 home increases $8.66 per year ($.73 per month)," said Clark. The state has increased the Basic Levy which will raise the tax $4.95 cents and $3.71 is due to increase in Board Local Levy as compared to individual levies that were combined."
Tax rates change from year to year based on several different variables.
One of those variables is the taxable value of property within the State of Utah. All public school districts within the State of Utah are required to levy a "basic rate" in order to participate in the state's equalization program.
The actual tax rate changes from year to year, as well.
"In good financial times, the taxable value of property increases and thus the basic rate decreases in order to produce the same amount of money," said Clark.
However, when times are more difficult, the taxable value of property decreases and thus the basic rate increases in order to produce the same amount of money.
The state did not experience an increase in the taxable value of property, even though some counties did, and thus the required basic rate increased for the 2012 tax year.
If taxable value in a county increases, taxpayers might presume that the overall tax rate should decrease. This would be true unless there are offsetting circumstances, such as the state increasing the basic rate for public education, which was the case this year Another offsetting factor generated at the state level came as a result of the State implementing an "across the board" decrease in the taxable value of property throughout the state as a result of the economic situation our state and national government are currently in. Because public education is guaranteed the "same amount" from year to year, tax rates for education increased over what they would have been to compensate for the "across the board" decrease in the taxable value of property.
"We now no longer have the 10 percent of Basic to fall back on," said Clark.
Offsetting factors also occur at the local level.
Clark said that the Basic State levy for the current year was .001651 which will bring in $1,182,805; Voted Leeway, is .000400 which will bring in $286,567; Capital Outlay was set at .001900 to generate $1,362,193; Board Local is set at .001857 to generate $1,330,387; and Debt Service is set at .002323 for $1,664,237.
The Board Local Leeway for the year has combined several other levies in a new legislative way of determining the way the tax is computed. The Sp Trans, Recreation, Tort, 10 Percent of Basic, and K-3 Reading levies have all been combined into the Board Local Levy.
"The new Board Local Levy is set at .001857 and will generate $1,330,387," said Clark. "This did not exist last year."
He said that any significant changes have an effect on the district's evaluation. The State has implemented an "across the board" reduction in property values.
In the near future, the county will distribute tax notices for the 2012 tax year which will provide a comparison between the 2011 and the 2012 tax year.
"We have taken one hit after another in the past few years," said Clark.
This year looks to be better than the recent past and it appears that the district will have $75,000 additional revenue which will go right into the classroom.
"However, it is not unheard of for the State Tax Commission to make adjustments," he said.