Wasatch County School District Asks Community For Input On Proposed Tax Increase

Aug 14, 2019

Credit WCSD / WCSD

The Wasatch County School District will hold a truth in taxation hearing on Thursday at 6:30. They’ve budgeted an increase in teacher salaries for this year, but most property owners will see a slight decrease in their overall property tax bill for 2019.

According to Wasatch County School District Communications Director, John Moss it’s difficult to attract and retain teachers. In order to be more competitive they plan to raise starting wages from $41,400 to $43,000 per year.

“And Park City is $50,700.00 and several school districts on the Wasatch Front are starting their first-year teachers at 50,000. We draw all from that same pool and in order to get more competitive and be able to attract some of the better teachers to our district, we need to raise the teachers salaries and that’s what the truth in taxation hearing this week is for.”

The legislature drops the property tax rate each year, but Moss says they’ll propose that the school district holds the property tax rate steady in order to generate more income to pass on to the teachers. He says their teachers could drive 15 miles to Park City and make $7000 more.

“And Park City has industry over there with the ski resorts that we don’t have here. The majority of our salaries come from local taxpayers and not from business although businesses do pay their share of the taxes as well.  But it’s not like we have an industry here in our valley that’s going to generate tax income for us.”

Due to the legislature reducing the tax rate, some property owners in Wasatch County, will see their overall tax bill go down this year, if their valuations have not changed.

“Everyone’s total tax bill will drop if they weren’t reassessed this year. Even though they’ll be paying the school district a little bit more. The property tax goes out to 13 different entities and some of those are dropping and not being raised.”

They plan to put a $150 million school bond initiative on the ballot in November and will be discussing and voting on that decision on Thursday. If the bond passes, it would pay for an additional high school in Heber and would replace an aging elementary school in Midway.

The tax on a $562,000 residence would increase from $1,806.07 to $2,104.97, which is $298.90 per year.A business of the same value would increase from $3,283.77 to $3,827.22, which is $543.45 per year.

The Wasatch Board of Education will meet at the school district offices on Thursday at 101 East, 200 North in Heber City. There’s a study session beginning at 5. The Truth in Taxation hearing starts at 6:30. After public input on the tax increase, the school board will discuss and vote on the bond initiative.    A link to the Wasatch School District 2020 Budget:https://www.wasatch.edu/cms/lib/UT01000315/Centricity/Domain/31/Budget%202020.pdfWasatch School District videos explain Truth in Taxation and Certified Tax Rate:https://www.wasatch.edu/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&ModuleInstanceID=15815&ViewID=94B66785-F3F0-41A8-8414-1E55691D3E9E&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=43840&PageID=13926