District Dollars – Financial Facts from the Board of Education

The Jordan School District Board of Education approved a tax increase for teacher pay at a hearing on Aug. 1, 2023. For more information about Truth in Taxation and facts about District finances, please review the following financial facts and figures below.

The tax amount decreased by approximately five dollars on an average home, valued at $582,000.

Your Notice of Property Valuation & Tax Changes

The following is a sample copy of the Salt Lake County notice, based on the average home value within Jordan School District. Individual notices will vary, depending on home values.

Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why did you approve a tax increase? What will the money be used for? 
A. The Board of Education approved a tax increase in order to fund pay increases for teachers. Around the end of the school year, the Board made a formal compensation proposal that would have provided comparable pay increases for all three employee groups: licensed employees, education support professionals, and administrators. This initial proposal could have been funded without a tax increase. In response to significant feedback from teachers and legislators, the Board put forward a new proposal that provided a larger pay increase for teachers. The proposed tax increase would fund higher teacher pay.

Q. Where did the increased money from the Legislature go?
A. All increased money from the legislature was used to fund a pay increase for every employee group. Some funding was specifically designated by the legislature to be used only for teacher pay, a requirement that the District has honored in every proposal. Undesignated funding was used to provide increases to other employee groups.Hundreds of positions throughout the district went unfilled all of last year. We are hopeful that increased pay for all groups will help reduce the severe understaffing we have been experiencing.

Q. What was last year’s tax increase used for?
Last year’s tax increase was used primarily to provide ongoing funding for teacher raises that had already been approved by the Board in previous years. These raises were initially paid for using reserve funds, but those balances have been dipping below acceptable levels.Funds from last year’s tax increase were also used to provide additional support staff, including school counselors, hall monitors, and elementary assistant principals. The additional staff members have been instrumental in addressing growing student needs and in helping alleviate the increasing burdens on teachers. We have heard very positive feedback regarding the impact of these additional teacher supports.

Q. What have we done to reduce costs?
Jordan School District is continually looking to decrease costs wherever possible. Some recent steps to save taxpayer dollars include reducing the number of District administrators, eliminating full-time and part-time staff positions at schools, and being intentional about spending our most restricted funding first. We have also maximized the talents of our existing staff to meet needs in our buildings by restructuring work expectations and carefully evaluating what work is essential and what work can be eliminated or reduced.

Q. Why doesn’t government have to tighten its belt like people and businesses do?
Government entities do have to “tighten their belts” like private businesses and individuals. As a school district, it is our responsibility to provide the best education possible while using taxpayer dollars efficiently. Because 88% of our annual budget is spent compensating employees, significant cost reductions are only possible if positions are eliminated, compensation is reduced, pay increases are reduced or eliminated, or services are discontinued.We are continually looking to increase efficiencies and reduce spending. By law, property taxes are adjusted by the state so school districts do not receive more money as property values go up. As a result, our funding from property taxes only increases if we vote to increase it. Without tax increases, we would not receive increases to offset inflation.

Q: How much did my Jordan District taxes go up?
A: Every home will have a different answer to this question since every home has a different value last year and this year. However, below is a chart that shows the anticipated change for various home values.

Home Value Taxes to pay for Debt payments Taxes to increase teacher pay Net Change
 $400,000 – $20.23 $16.71  – $3.52
 $600,000  – $30.34 $25.07  – $5.27
 $800,000 – $40.45 $33.43  – $7.02
 $1,000,000 – $50.57 $41.79  – $8.78
 $1,200,000 – $60.68 $50.14  – $10.54

Q: Why was there a Truth In Taxation Hearing if my taxes are going down?
A: Without the proposed increase, taxes would have gone down even further. Because taxes will not be going down as much as they could, a Truth In Taxation Hearing was required so the public can both learn about the increase and also provide feedback to the Board of Education about that increase.

Q: How does Utah’s property tax system work?
In Utah, property tax rates adjust each year so the taxing entity (e.g. city, county, school district) will receive the same total tax proceeds it received in the prior year, except for any new construction. No adjustments are made for inflation. This means that as overall property values within the school district increase, the property tax rate decreases so the resulting tax revenue is the same as the prior year. The opposite is also true; as overall property values within the school district decrease, the property tax rate increases so the resulting tax revenue is the same as the prior year. The county auditor and the State Tax Commission calculate the tax rate that yields the same dollars as the prior year. It is called the Certified Tax Rate. Only new construction that was not on the tax rolls in the prior year yield additional property tax dollars for a taxing entity. New construction is taxed at the same tax rate as existing properties. Governing bodies, such as the Board of Education, may increase the tax rate from the Certified Tax Rate only if they go through a process called Truth in Taxation. Truth in Taxation requires the entity to hold a public hearing where the tax increase is explained and to provide an opportunity for residents to comment on the proposal before an increase may occur.

Q: If tax rates float up and down to compensate for values floating up and down to keep revenues neutral, why is there a tax decrease this year?
A: In 2016 voters approved the issuance of bonds for school construction. The annual payments on those bonds is declining. Taxes for bonds is not subject to the Certified Tax Rate process and therefore those tax rates will decline over time as bond payments decline.

Q: How do I appeal the value of my home?
A: Salt Lake County handles this aspect of property taxes. Please visit the Salt Lake County Auditor Property Tax Appeals page for more information about tax appeals.

Q: I am unable to pay my property taxes. Are there tax relief programs to help me?
A: State law outlines property tax relief programs which are overseen by Salt Lake County. Please visit the Salt Lake County Treasurer Tax Relief Programs page for more information.

Financial Facts
Jordan works hard to use resources efficiently and to provide a world-class education for students and a supportive work environment for all employees.

Your Investment in Students and Education, Teacher Pay
Do you know why Jordan School District relies on you to invest in our students and their education?
Jordan School District has worked hard to provide teachers and school staff the pay increases they so deserve. The Board of Education has consistently increased teacher pay and right now the starting pay for teachers in Jordan is competitive with surrounding districts.

Teacher Pay Increases

Did You Know We Do More with Less?
Did you know Jordan School District’s tax rate is less than other school districts in our area?
Jordan’s tax rate is near the State average and below other neighboring districts. 

Tax Rates

Assessed Valuation Per Student
Did you know our assessed valuation per student is well below the State average?
The assessed valuation per student is the total of all taxable property values in the District divided by the number of students districtwide.

Jordan’s assessed valuation per student is $672,662. That is a little over half of the state average.

Assessed Valuation Per Student

Tax Yield Per Student
Did you know our tax yield per student is well below the State average?
The tax yield per student is the amount of local taxes we generate divided by the number of students districtwide. The tax yield is the tax rate multiplied by the assessed valuation per student.

Jordan School District’s total tax yield per student is $2,903 which is below the State average.

Tax Yield Per Student

Tax Yield Per Student For Operations
Did you know the portion of the tax yield per student available for operations like utilities and teacher salaries in Jordan is near the bottom statewide?
Jordan School District’s yield is $1,713 per student, well below the state average tax yield per student, which is $2,459.

Estimated Voted & Board Local Tax Yield Per Student

Extra Funding from the State
Did you know the State gives extra funding to Districts like Jordan which have a smaller tax base per student?
This is money that comes from State equalization programs. The programs exist to ensure students have some minimal funding equity across school districts.

The State gives extra funding to districts like Jordan. But even with the additional State funding we receive, Jordan is among the lowest in the entire state in per student operations funding.

Estimated Voted/Board Local Tax Yields & State Contributions Per Student – All School Districts

Estimated Voted/Board Local Tax Yields & State Contributions Per Student

District Growth
Did you know Jordan School District is one of the fastest growing school districts in the State?
Projections show that Jordan anticipates an increase of 900 students in the next five years. To house all those students, we’d need the equivalent of 36 portables or one elementary school.

Enrollment Projections 2023 – 2027

Jordan Stands Alone with Enrollment Growth in Salt Lake County
Did you know Jordan is the only growing school district in Salt Lake County?
Over the last decade, Jordan saw an additional 5,786 students enrolled.  In contrast, enrollments at all other Salt Lake County school districts have declined.

10-Year School District Enrollment Growth: Oct. 1, 2012 – Oct 1, 2022

Long-Term Debt Per Student
Did you know Jordan is well below the State average in long-term debt per student?
When you look at long-term debt per student, Jordan is well below the State average at $4,426 per student. The State average is $10,591 per student. Jordan is also well below some of our surrounding districts when it comes to long-term debt per student.

Neighboring District Long-Term Debt per Student

Board Local Levy
Did you know that Jordan School District Board Local Levy is one of the lowest in the state?

Of the 41 school districts in Utah, Jordan School District has the 11th lowest Board Local Levy. The Board of Education is responsible for the Board Local Levy.

Board Local Levy All Districts – Tax Year 2022

Board Local Levy – Tax Year 2022

Additional Financial Facts
More detailed financial information can be found below.