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New tax rates approved at truth in taxation hearing

Dale Thompson, Of the Record staff

The seasons are changing and so are the property taxes paid to the Park City School Board.

At a truth in taxation hearing on Tuesday the board voted unanimously to approve an increase of 8.61-percent over the state requirement.

The school district portion of property tax on a $430,000 residence will now be $1,232.64 compared to last year when it was $1,299. Businesses and second homes valued at $430,000 will pay $2,241.16.

While the new rate is lower than last year’s, the district will still see increased revenue because of new growth and a gain in assessed value on properties in the area, said business administrator Patty Murphy.

The rate is $98 above the certified rate, which is determined by the state, and $66 less than 2005.

During Tuesday’s public hearing concerned Parkite Lynn Warren addressed the board and said, that as the district’s revenue decreases, so should spending and adjusting the tax rate is not a solution.

Linda Gordon also spoke to the board and said even though she does not have children in the district she would like to see Park City students do as well as possible, but the taxes were a burden and suggested the district does not need so many specialists.

"I think that maybe cutting programs in the future might be the way to go," she said.

The new tax rate addresses a $2 million deficiency in the district’s budget, reported last June.

The increased revenues is forecasted to increase from approximately $32.3 million to $35 million and while projected expenditures remained at $34.4 million.

She also acknowledged that while the rate is lower than last years, some people have ended up paying more.

"I understand those local residents and others have concerns because of increased assessed valuation, of course that has affected the amount of taxes they pay," she said.

Board member Vern Christensen said with the new rate, the district would now be able to meet expenditures but added they need to look very closely at how money is being spent.

"We need to step back and look at expenditures to make sure we’re providing the best education we can for our children, at the same time looking at the tax burden of our taxpayers," he said.

The board will spend the next year looking closely at the results of different programs and specialists to determine which ones should be kept while considering the possibility of eliminating those that do not show an increase in student performance.

"We’re in a period of some change right now," he said.

The one year analysis will be led by the new superintendent, who Christensen said will help the district map out a vision of how to approach expenditures in the future.


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