Schools set tax rates

A significant drop in the assessed value of area properties dominated the discussion on June 22 as the San Juan School District set property tax rates at a school board meeting.
In the end, the tax rates that the district controls will stay at the same level as 2014. As a result, the amount of property taxes collected by the school district will drop by $1,120,285 in the next year.
A challenge was created because of an increase in the Minimum School Program tax rate. This rate is set by the State of Utah, with no control by the local school districts.
The board considered lowering the local rates by the amount of the state rate increase, but determined to keep the rates that they control steady.
Superintendent Doug Wright recommended that the district “honor the concept of staying rate neutral on funds we can control.”
District Accountant Rhea Laws added, “You are going to get in a real fix, real fast when you try to control what you have no control over.”
In the end, the board voted 4-1, with Merri Shumway opposing, to keep the rates the same as last year.
The increase in the state-set rate means that the property tax on a $100,000 home will increase by an estimated $17.
In other matters at the June 22 board meeting, fall football schedules were approved.
For the first time in nearly a decade, Monument Valley and Whitehorse high schools will play an independent football schedule rather than with the Utah High School Activities Association. The teams will play games against reservation teams in Arizona and New Mexico.
Whitehorse, with three away games, will travel 305 miles for football, while the Monticello team, which will play five away games, will travel 1,340 miles during the regular season.
In the public comment portion of the meeting, Sharon Stryker expressed concern about hiring policies and school progress in Monument Valley and Navajo Mountain.
Mallysa Egge expressed interest in being involved in planning for the new Bluff Elementary School. The timeframe for a new school in Bluff has not been determined.

San Juan Record

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Monticello, UT 84535

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