Iron County School Board votes to adjust tax levies to qualify for $1.4 million in state funding

File photo of sign in front of Iron County School District offices, Cedar City, Utah, Sept. 20, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

ST. GEORGE — During a meeting Wednesday, the Iron County School Board voted to make adjustments to its tax levies that could grant the district an additional $1.4 million to “bolster teacher and district employee compensation.”

Following the Truth in Taxation hearing Tuesday evening, motions to approve the adjustment and 2019-20 fiscal year budget passed with a 4-1 vote from board members. Board member Dale Brinkerhoff was the lone dissenting vote.

“I can’t go 5.5% and think that we’re going to do that every year,” he said. “I’m still voting ‘nay,’ regardless of what we’ve done in the past.”

The adjustments were made in order to allow the county to qualify for state funding that would enhance teacher compensation. The Teacher and Student Success Act Program would award the district $1.4 million, and in order to be eligible to receive funds, the district must comply with a state rule that would increase its Board Local Levy .0001.

“Securing these funds is a significant investment in our teachers and our students; it is an investment that will bring near and long-term dividends to our community,” the board said in a written statement.

A tax levy is the amount of property taxes a school district must collect to balance its budget. The levy helps the district to determine the tax rate for each of the municipalities that make up the school district.

Last year’s Board Local Levy tax rate was .001016, meaning the school board would have to set the 2019-20 tax rate at .001116 to qualify for funds. However, the school board was also required to comply with the Iron County Auditor’s recommendation for the overall tax rate to not exceed the certified amount of .006212.

The county matched only two of the six certified amounts but was able to meet the overall criteria. The school board elected to increase the Capital Local Levy and Voted Local Levy amounts in order to continue to address security and fund salary and benefits increases for teachers and district employees.

In order to balance the increased Board Local Levy, Capital Local Levy and Voted Local Levy tax rates, the board decreased the GO Bond Payments tax rate.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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