Nebo School District tax increase goes into effect
Date: Thursday, August 19 @ 00:00:30
Topic Our Towns
A tax increase approved by Nebo School District voters last February was formally put into place
Wednesday by district Board of Education members after some residents voiced concerns that their
taxes were going too high.
After a public hearing, the board adopted the district's 2004-05 tax rates, then approved a revised
2004-05 budget reflecting the rates.
The tax increase has already shown up on district residents' 2004 property valuation notices that
were sent out recently by Utah County. But the school district had to wait to hold a public hearing
on the tax increase until the county provided the district's new certified tax rate, an amount based
on the assessed valuation of properties within the district.
Because Nebo residents will pay a tax rate that exceeds the certified tax rate -- an increase due
almost entirely to the $140 million bond issue and voted leeway approved in February's election --
district officials were required to conduct the "truth in taxation" hearing Wednesday.
The bond issue will pay to build 10 new schools in the district and the voted leeway will provide
money to fund operational costs of those schools. Enrollment in Nebo is expected to increase by
more than 10,000 over the next seven years.
"It seems somewhat confusing when we have to go through truth in taxation when there's already
been a bond election, but that's just the way it is," said Tracy Olsen, Nebo district business
On a home with a market value of $100,000 both last year and this year, the tax increase will total
$63.80, Olsen said. The bond issue accounts for $22 of that amount and the voted leeway $32.34.
Another $6.66 of the total amount will fund the K-3 Reading Improvement Program, a program
created through a bill passed during the Legislature's 2004 general session. Nebo board members
approved a small property tax increase last April to fund the program. Olsen said the state will
provide $1.50 for each $1 raised by local taxes for the reading program.
The remaining $2.80 of the increase is allowed without a truth in taxation hearing.
About 30 people attended Wednesday's hearing, several carrying their 2004 property valuation
notice. Some said they had significant increases in their taxes this year.
Board member Bonnie Palmer said some of the increases may be attributed to re-evaluation of
property values by the county.
Eric Christensen of Spanish Fork said he wasn't happy about the increase, but understood that it
was a choice for which people voted.
"So we basically screwed ourselves," said Christensen, who moved to Spanish Fork during the past
year and wasn't a registered voter in the district at the time of the election. "It was our vote, it was
our choice and we messed ourselves up."
Utah Taxpayers Association Vice President Mike Jerman, who owns property in Spanish Fork, said
based on information the association has obtained, the tax increase would give Nebo the highest tax
rate of any Utah school district.
"I dislike taxes as much as anyone. I haven't heard anyone give a good alternative," said Nebo
Board Member J. Collin Allan.
Olsen said the district is saving money from the voted leeway and will use the money to equip the
new schools as they are built.
This story appeared in The Daily Herald on page C1.