Many residents received an anonymous flyer (see attached) on their windshields while attending their local worship services on Sunday, May 4. This flyer was full of misinformation about Jordan School District and is not based on factual information whatsoever. Here are the allegations and Jordan School District’s response to each of them, with factual sources cited (where applicable) for anyone to look up at their own convenience.
- Allegation: “Jordan School District Wants to Raise Your Taxes Again.”
JSD Response: Jordan School District has not planned a Truth in Taxation hearing, which is required by law (Utah code 59-2-919) before taxes are raised. The District has not raised taxes since 2009, after the District split. Because the District is revenue neutral, any change in tax rate since 2009 has simply been the State Tax Commission following the laws and calculated formulas (propertytax.utah.gov/property-tax-rates) established for revenue neutral entities.
- Allegation: “Jordan School District kept important information from voters during last year’s bond election debate.”
JSD Response: Jordan School District did not keep information from voters. The District attempted to answer all taxpayer questions (www.jordanbond.org/faq/) and created a bond information website where ALL bond information was posted and is still available. This website can be viewed by visiting www.jordanbond.org.
- Allegation: “Jordan School District is now planning to bond again.”
JSD Response: There has been no consensus among board members concerning future bonding.
- Allegation: “Jordan School District pointed to South Jordan’s growth as the reason to build new schools, but in the first bond they planned for schools in Riverton, Herriman, West Jordan and Bluffdale, but not in South Jordan.”
JSD Response: Jordan School District cited growth in several communities including Bluffdale, Herriman, South Jordan and West Jordan and did not commit to any school location in an effort to maintain a strong negotiation with landowners. Recent land purchases in South Jordan prove schools in this community were planned as part of the bond.
- Allegation: “Your property taxes would have gone up by $60/month, not the $20 they claimed.”
JSD Response: Bond costs vary each year, depending on when bonds are sold. At its maximum, the bond would have cost a homeowner $10/month per $100,000 of home value. An average home in Jordan School District is valued at $248,480. The most the bond would have cost the average home is $24.85 per month, or $0.83 per day.
- Allegation: “Eventually, taxes would have raised to $120/month because we would need a second bond to build schools in South Jordan and elsewhere.”
JSD Response: Districts only need to build schools because of growth. Cities control growth. The amount of bond money needed is directly tied to the growth of a city. Bonding is the primary funding tool for Districts to build schools. Conjecture about a second bond is speculative at best.
- Allegation: “The first bond planned on $187 million used for more admin buildings and other instead of new schools, though a new admin building was just built.”
JSD Response: This statement is ludicrous! No administration building was planned for in the bond. For a list of what was planned in the bond please visit www.jordanbond.org/priorities/.
- Allegation: “Jordan School District ignored free land Daybreak offered for their new admin building and spent $7.5 million to buy the land, build the building and bought 4 additional acres of investment property while claiming they needed money for school buildings for our kids.”
JSD Response: The District negotiated with South Jordan City, as part of a CDA agreement, for either an administration building in the Daybreak development on 3-4 acres or a $10.5 million cash payout. The District has yet to choose which option to select. Should the Board choose the $10.5 million option, the money will be spent at the Board’s discretion (school, land, etc.).The current District office, parking lot and adjacent land were all purchased as a package deal, costing millions below appraised value and avoiding another $1.75 million in future lease payments. The Board can always choose to sell the District offices and take Daybreak’s offer, thereby maintaining all flexibility and options.
- Allegation: “If the bond had passed, we would have become the highest taxed school district in the State.”
JSD Response: Absolutely untrue! If the bond had passed, there is no way Jordan School District would have been the highest taxed in the State. The highest tax rate in the State is currently Tooele School District with a tax rate of .009593, some 34.5 percent higher than Jordan’s rate of .007132. Even if the bond had passed, Jordan School District taxpayers would not have been the highest taxed in the State.
- Allegation: “Jordan School District admitted they rely on the property taxes and retail sales tax base from South Jordan to build in other cities, while not building in South Jordan.”
JSD Response: Jordan School District relies on property tax from all cities we serve. The District receives NO sales tax revenue.