OGDEN — Weber School District residents beware: you are probably going to see a tax increase.
The Weber School Board voted Wednesday night to adopt the board local levy of 0.001084, one higher than the 2019 certified board levy of 0.000931. Because the proposed levy is higher than the certified one, the school board had to vote on it.
The board unanimously voted to approve the tax increase. Board members Mitzi Kawaguchi and Bruce Jardine were not present.
The increase in the board local levy will end up increasing the final tax rate of the Weber School District certified levies, including the general obligation bond and debt service rate, from 0.004418 to 0.004571.
The school district has said it expects to collect about $1.6 million in taxes. The money will be used to operate the two elementary schools the school district is currently building in Farr West and Pleasant View.
Dean Oborn, Weber School Board vice president, said the school board has been transparent about needing to increase the board local levy in order to successfully staff and operate the schools.
“None of us want to raise taxes. The taxes we are asking for are only to open those two schools,” Oborn said. “We as a school board have been as frugal and careful with your tax money as we can possibly be. We don’t raise taxes easily and I think we’ve proved it.”
This year the average property value in Weber School District increased to $280,000, making the tax certified tax rate drop from 0.004730 to 0.004418. By keeping the tax rate as last year, homeowners would’ve now end up paying about $680.37.
Instead, homeowner will now pay an average of $703.94 on homes valued at $280,000.
Carlena Coe has been living in her house for 49 years. She told the school board she is on a fixed income and that this tax rate will have an impact on her finances.
“We need a head tax,” Coe said. “We are on a fixed income and, when our taxes go up, that puts a dent on something else we need to do, maybe improving our property.”
Willard Cragun, Roy City former mayor, also asked the school district to be frugal when building the new schools.
“If the money is needed, I can understand that. I’ve been in the business,” Cragun said. “I’m going to ask you to be reasonable on what you are doing — I don’t think we need to build monuments … to educate children in.”
Before the final vote, board member Janis Christiansen told the public that there was a need for school spaces in the school district, and that this tax increase will help alleviate the overcrowding of some of the schools.
After the hearing, Christiansen talked to some constituents outside of the building. She was visibly upset.
“We are a district and we are all bound to educate the kids in our district, whether there are ours or not,” Christiansen said. “They still will contribute to the community good or bad, depending on their education.”