PCSD raises taxes $5.2M to pay for teachers

The Park City School District made good on its promise to teachers as it has the last two years, passing a tax increase that will, in part, pay for teacher-salary increases negotiated in 2017.

The $5.2 million hike will increase taxes by about $3 per $100,000 of assessed value on a primary home, though many will feel a slightly larger pinch, as the value of real estate in the district jumped from $15.5 billion in 2018-2019 to $17.4 billion in 2019-2020, according to a presentation at the meeting.

The amount is down slightly from the $5.6 million forecast in May.

The Park City Board of Education unanimously passed the measure and adopted the 2020 budget at its meeting Tuesday night.

Business administrator Todd Hauber explained that, though it appears the operations budget is increasing by about 6 percent or $4.7 million, the true impact is closer to 4 percent, or $3.1 million, once payments back to the state are factored in.

The district is seeing an overall $8.4 million increase to its revenues, which includes the tax increase, growth of the tax base and other, smaller sources, but does not include state-mandated increases to expenditures.

The budget increase is going to be split among four categories: efficient operations, academic success, personnel and communication.

Some of the biggest outlays are to start a sanctioned lacrosse program with new coaches and equipment, to bolster special education programs at the high school and Park City Learning Academy, to add an English Language Learner/Dual Immersion program coordinator, to add other staff members and increase spending on technology across all grade levels.

The district is also seeing a revenue boost of about $2.2 million from new growth and an increase in the amount of per-pupil aid from the state. But the district will also have to send about $7.6 million back to state coffers as part of a state-mandated bid to equalize funding among school districts, Hauber said. That’s an increase of about $1.7 million over last year.

When the district and the teacher association hashed out a new agreement in 2017, it included an immediate across-the-board $7,000 wage increase for each position, and boosted starting teacher salaries to more than $50,000, making Park City teachers the best compensated in the state.

It also included a step increase each of the three years, essentially a 2 percent pay raise year-over-year.

The plan called for tax increases last year and this year and to use district savings and reserves. The district voted to increase taxes to do that Tuesday night.

The agreement between the district and its employees expires at the end of this school year.


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