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Granite, Salt Lake school districts approve tax increases

Published: Monday, Aug. 11 2014 3:19 p.m. MDT

Updated: Monday, Aug. 11 2014 3:19 p.m. MDT

The school boards of both Granite School District and Salt Lake City School District approved tax increases during Truth in Taxation hearings last week.

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SALT LAKE CITY — The school boards of Granite School District and Salt Lake City School District have approved tax increases during recent Truth in Taxation hearings.

Granite residents will see an increase of $22.24 per year for the average home — valued at $222,159 — which will generate roughly $3.7 million for the school district, spokesman Ben Horsley said.

Horsley said the bulk of the new revenue will be used to recoup teacher training days outside the school year, which were cut at the state level during the economic recession.

"That was a pay cut to teachers, but more importantly the funding was lost that paid for critical professional development to those teachers," Horsley said. "We want to make sure our teachers have the abilities to meet the demands of an ever-changing classroom."

Horsley said the tax increase would allow for three days of professional development for district personnel, as well as provide replacement funds for a portion of the revenues shared with charter schools in the district.

The board voted unanimously in favor of the increase following a period of public comment in which four individuals spoke in favor raising taxes, Horsley said.

In Salt Lake City School District, residents will see a higher tax rate this fall but will ultimately pay less in taxes due to the retirement of district debt, district business administrator Janet Roberts said.

During the 2013-14 school year, residents paid $365.81 per year for every $100,000 of assessed property value. With the decrease in capital debt, that tax figure was projected to drop to $325 per year for the upcoming school year.

The Salt Lake City Board of Education voted unanimously to increase property taxes to $346.67 for every $100,000 of assessed value, which will result in an additional $6.8 million for the district and in many cases a lower overall tax burden for residents compared to last year.

"It was just a perfect time for us to go through truth in taxation," Roberts said.

In a document posted on the school district's website, officials say the revenue is expected to be used on class size reduction efforts, teacher training, classroom technology and school construction.

Email: benwood@deseretnews.com

Twitter: bjaminwood

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