The Park City Board of Education voted unanimously to approve a $5.2 million tax increase. The additional revenue will go toward district salary increases that were put in place two years ago, as part of the three-year contract negotiated in 2017.
The increase is less than what Park City School District Business Administrator Todd Hauber thought it would be when he presented the budget to the board in May. The increase was expected to be closer to $5.6 million.
“And this was a great opportunity not only for our teacher contracts but also for our classified or our educational support professionals or our administrators. We had that three-year contact for all those employee groups. So, we were able to put all that together in that $5.2 million dollars. So, when we crunched the numbers and the assessed valuations came in we were able to have a tax impact that was about $3 on every $100,000 of appraised value.”
Hauber reminds people that some may see different increases due to appraised values of their homes. The County Assessor manages that process and assessments are typically done every five years.
In 2017, the board agreed to increase teacher starting salaries to over $50,000. Every teacher in the district received a $7000 salary increase as part of the negotiated contract with the Park City Education Association. School Board President, Andrew Caplan says the board is committed to attracting and retaining the best teachers and he expects future tax increases in order to do that. He says it is everyone’s interest to continue to be the best district in the state and one of the top districts nationally.
Teacher negotiations will begin this fall since the 2017 contract will end in June.
“You know when we have increases that’s as low as $30 per $1 million house value, I think we can say it’s a success to be able to continue to pay our teachers at the highest level that we can or support professionals at the highest level that we can. Will we increase salaries again? I think that’s probably likely. Will that result in increased taxes? Sure.”
Hauber says student enrollment always fluctuates this time of the year but in general they are staffed adequately. They’ll be taking student counts this week and again in 10 days. The final required count, which determines the WPU funding will be done October 1st.
We’ll do a final check-in. See how many students have actually enrolled in the schools and see what the class size ratios are and see if there are any final determinations on staffing. But, right now, we’re where we need to be.”
Caplan says they’re hoping to conclude the master planning work in the next six months, and he acknowledges the future educational and facilities needs identified in that plan will result in tax increases throughout the district.
KPCW will continue to follow and report on the master planning process.