Davis County residents are not likely to see a tax increase anytime soon from the Davis School District.
Davis School Board members said Tuesday night they don't want to levy any more taxes because Davis residents don't want them. Board members met to discuss the 1989-90 school budget."I don't think at the present time we have any motivation to raise taxes. On the other hand, we sympathize with the people that feel that the schools need more money. However we don't want to burden individual lives with any more taxes," Board President Lynn Summerhays said.
Board Member Ray Briscoe said while he would accept a raise in his own taxes to support education, he said he wasn't willing to raise others' taxes.
Board members said that their future as an elected official might be at stake if they attempted to raise taxes.
"There might be more harm than losing an election if we fool with these things," Summerhays joked.
The district has the power to raise an additional $200 per average household through taxes. They could also go to voters and ask to increase leeway taxes, Roger Glines, district business administrator, said.
The district is projected to receive $143.5 million in revenues next year, down about $887,000 from this year. Although district officials have not completed a tally of expenditures, state law require that they balance their budget to match or be less than revenues. The current budget is $142.9 million.
A tentative budget is scheduled to be approved June 6. A public hearing and final adoption of the budget is scheduled for June 20.
Superintendent Richard Kendell told board members that the district faces several dilemmas in budgeting including that fact that per pupil expenditures in the district are declining.
"Growth is not fully funded," Kendell said.
He said while the Utah Legislature has increased spending for pupil expenditures, other school services have not been increased. The result has been a steady decline that has placed district per-pupil expenditures well below the national average and below the state average.
The district's share of federal impact aid and handicapped funds will also be cut next year. The district relies on impact aid more than most Utah districts because of the large number of students whose parents work and live at Hill Air Force Base. The district expects to lose$300,000 in the in-lieu-of-tax payments.
As federal funding shrinks, the district is also faced with more federal mandates including those calling for testing for lead in water fountains and radon gas in buildings, Dean Penrod, assistant superintendent, said.
Next year alone, radon and lead testing and asbestos cleanup, another federally-mandated program, could cost as much as $1.1 million. Those figures do not include replacement of water fountains or measures to remedy high levels of radon gas if such conditions exist. Asbestos cleanup and monitoring is expected to cost the district $800,000, Penrod said.
The federal government is also requiring that underground fuel tanks undergo an expensive retrofitting program to make sure they don't leak fuel into groundwater. The district has 53 underground tanks, Penrod said.