Fun Fact Friday: Tax Rates Going Down…Again

2014-15 tax graphGood News! This is the second consecutive year of a tax rate decrease for District taxpayers. The new rate dropped from .007132 to .006700, making Jordan the second lowest tax rate for homeowners and businesses in Salt Lake County; only Salt Lake City School District has a lower tax rate. Because overall values are increasing in Jordan School District, the tax rate is going down.

We sometimes hear people ask, “How did I pay more if my tax rate dropped?” This is because some home and business values increase at a faster rate than the whole community. The values of a few pockets of homes or businesses in the District may be increasing much faster than their neighbors, causing them to pay slightly more in taxes. Overall, our tax rates are going down, which is good for homeowners and good for businesses. For more information on tax rates in Jordan, click here: http://jordandistrict.org/2014/04/taxrates/

Generous Gift Brings Backpacks to Oquirrh Elementary

IMG_5590The school year is getting off to a great start for students at Oquirrh Elementary School and a community partner is helping out. This week a representative from the new South Jordan Costco showed up and surprised the entire school with a gift of 400 brand new backpacks. It is part of a Costco program designed to help school children in the community. This surprise was extra special because the Costco employee who delivered the backpacks is a former Oquirrh Elementary student. Thanks to Costco for taking time to care about children and their education. Check out a photo gallery on our Facebook page.

District Students ‘Dig In’ to Help with Hospital Groundbreaking

IMG_5613It was a big day for the Intermountain Riverton Hospital as they celebrated an expansion with a special groundbreaking ceremony. The Riverton High marching band provided music to kick things off. Then, Rose Creek Elementary students picked up plastic shovels and put on plastic hard hats to help the hospital’s CEO break ground for the new outpatient services center. Enjoy a photo gallery of the fun on our Facebook page.

Oquirrh Students Stand Tall Against Bullying

IMG_5596Students at Oquirrh Elementary are taking a stand against bullying with some help from a community partner. The school has teamed up with Shoe Carnival in an anti-bullying campaign called “Walk Tall, Respect for All.” The entire student body was given “Walk Tall” t-shirts to wear every Friday as a reminder that disrespect and bullying will not be tolerated at Oquirrh. The campaign also encourages students to report bullying to an adult at school. Monthly assemblies will be held to reward children who have taken a stand to stop bullying. Four students each month will be awarded with $25.00 Shoe Carnival gift cards. Thanks to everyone involved in this great campaign. Enjoy a photo gallery on our Facebook page.

Equalization Program Designed to Help, Could Significantly Hurt Taxpayers

_H4A9816(1)Legislation designed to get Jordan School District through tough financial times right after the district split, could turn out to be costly for taxpayers and the school children it was designed to help. Lawmakers approved a school funding equalization program in 2008. The program diverted money from all Salt Lake County districts to Jordan School District. Elected officials realized the district division left Jordan with the majority of students but a much smaller tax base and a lot less money coming in.

Jordan received a one-time influx of $10 million dollars in the first year of county-wide equalization, but not a dime since in net gain. Because Jordan was receiving money from equalization, state law reduced property tax rates in order to maintain revenue neutrality. The law says for every dollar that comes in from other school districts, a dollar is subtracted from the property tax bill of residents in the receiving district. It’s a benefit to business and homeowners but not the children in our schools. Meantime, tax rates have remained low with less money coming for the past six years, $10 million less than the first year of the program. In essence, the law has removed $70 million in construction funds promised to the District. This has limited Jordan’s ability to keep pace with growth in building new schools for our children.

While equalization will end in 2016, the Legislature has not decided how to do it fairly. Without legislative action, the District will have to raise taxes to make up for the shortfall created by this program. Jordan will be back to square one, facing similar financial issues it did in 2009 when the split occurred. This will hurt the District, its children and the taxpayers it was created to help.

Join us in encouraging lawmakers to come up with a solution to make good on the promises made to our children and patrons.