When Utahns get their state tax rebate checks in the mail in the next few months, most of them will get a little more than $100 to spend on whatever they want.
That extra money may mean a new set of golf clubs, new clothes or money to pay bills with. Whatever the case, the money has to go somewhere, and Provo School District has come up with a solution for those who can't decide where to spend their money.The district will be sending letters to parents in the next few weeks giving them the opportunity to put their rebate money back into education. They may do so through the Provo School District Foundation.
The Provo Board of Education approved the idea at Tuesday's board meeting. Vern Brimley, director of supportive services, is executive secretary of the organization and will have all the checks sent to his office.
Stan Collins, a district parent, is foundation chairman. The foundation was formed to raise funds so that the district can acquire additional money from state funds. Getting money from the tax rebate checks is just one way the foundation hopes to get additional funds.
There is $8,500 available to the district in the Incentives for Excellence program funded through the state legislature if the district can match it dollar for dollar, said Superintendent Jim Bergera.
The money will be used to enhance the instructional program in the classrooms, he said.
Those who want to donate the check need only to endorse it and turn it over to the foundation. By doing so they will avoid paying any income tax on the refund.
The rebates will come from surplus 1987 state income tax collections. Gov. Norm Bangerter recommended the rebates, which were later approved during a special legislative session in July.
The average Utahn will get anywhere from $100 to $140 back, or 12.5 percent of whatever they paid in 1987 state income tax.
A surplus of $110 million will be divvied out to various groups. Taxpayers will get $80 million, $20 million will go to a state rainy day fund and $10 million will go to education.
Higher education will get $3 million of the $10 million and the rest will go to public schools. From that $7 million, $4 million will be allocated within the next month or two to buy textbooks on a one-time basis.
The remaining $3 million will be reserved to bolster the Weighted Pupil Unit should there be a revenue shortage at the end of the fiscal year next July. If not, it will be distributed for textbooks, supplies and/or equipment.
The WPU - the amount given to the district for each student - has remained the same for three years with no increases to offset inflation. Provo educators anticipate having an extra $200,000 to use in Provo Schools.