Ogden school board plans tax hike

Tuesday , June 17, 2014 - 7:42 AM

Standard-Examiner staff

OGDEN -- Taxes may be going up in Ogden.

Last week the Ogden School Board approved a motion to move forward with a budget proposal that includes a .000522 percent increase in the capital local levy. Because of the possible change in the tax rate, the board will include a “Truth in Taxation” hearing in the board meeting set for 6 p.m. Aug. 14. The hearing may also include a judgement levy to recoup $87,402 that was lost when Union Pacific and Leaf Wireless won an appeal on their taxes.

In a work session prior to the main meeting, Zane Woolstenhulme, the district’s business administrator, presented board members with several budget options.

“The first option would keep the same tax rate as we had last year for a voted levy and the board levy, and it would increase the capital levy to what we estimate the tax rate would need to be to pay the debt service on the Dee project and to capture that judgment levy,” Woolstenhulme said.

The new Dee Elementary School is projected to cost between $18 million and $25 million, depending on whether it includes a community center, plus soft costs.

“My suggestion would be that you go with Option 1 in setting the tentative budget, knowing that that sets in motion the funding source for the Dee School property if the New Market Tax Credit, which we’re still waiting on ... does not materialize,” said Brad Smith, superintendent of the district.

Financing on the Dee Elementary project will probably not be required for a couple of years, according to Woolstenhulme, but it would be advantageous to bring in the revenue during fiscal year 2015.

“We have a lot of capital needs,” he said. “Almost everything we’re doing now is just getting us through from year to year with minor capital improvements.”

Raising the capital local levy is projected, on average, to change the taxes on a home valued at $130,000 by $38.47, increasing it from $625.91 to $664.38. Taxes on a $170,000 home would increase by $50.30, and on a $250,000 home by $73.98.

The school board can decide prior to the scheduled “Truth in Taxation” hearing to propose a smaller increase, to only pursue the judgement levy, or to make no changes and cancel the hearing. Details about the final proposal will be sent to taxpayers in advance of the meeting in property tax notices.

Weber School District also discussed its budget for the coming year at a board meeting last week. Decisions won’t be solid until the final tax rate is issued by the State of Utah, but at this time there is no plan to raise taxes, said Robert Petersen, the district’s business administrator.

Contact reporter Becky Wright at 801-625-4274 or bwright@standard.net. Follow her on Twitter at @ReporterBWright.

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