Grand County School Business Administrator Robert Farnsworth said the actual impact of the increase will be less than $16.06 per year on a home that is valued at $200,000 – the dollar figure originally noted in public announcements posted for the truth-in-taxation hearing. Farnsworth said the actual amount will be lower because while the Capital Local Levy tax increase will amount to $16.06 but tax rate for the school Basic Rate, which is set by the state, is being reduced. The resulting tax increase will be approximately $8 per year on a home valued at $200,000, he said.
The board budgeted for the tax increase with the intention of putting $200,000 each year into an account to be used specifically for building projects, such as new construction or renovations that district officials have said are needed at Grand County Middle School.
While exploring different sources of revenue to help pay for that work, the school board learned that the San Juan School District has been, for years, using increases in its Capital Local Levy fund to help pay for capital projects. The money is set aside each year so that it is available when new construction or renovations are needed.
“In an effort to meet the rising cost of improving and maintaining facilities, the Grand County Board of Education will develop a five-year facility maintenance plan using the current capital local levy revenue and create a Capital Development Fund,” Grand County School District Superintendent Scott Crane said in a written statement.
The school board held a truth-in-taxation hearing on Aug. 14 to take public comment on the proposed Capital Local Levy tax increase. However, no members of the public showed up to speak during the hearing.
“I think it would be worth noting that, aside from school district employees and the press, no one showed up to speak,” board member Beth Joseph said. She noted that school board members had received no phone calls or written correspondence regarding the increase.
Even with the tax increase, Farnsworth said the district still has one of the lowest tax rates in the state.