Property Tax and School Districts

With the month of November approaching, local property owners are preparing to pay their property taxes to the County. When you pay your taxes, you might ask, where does my tax money go? I would like to address this question as it relates to the Garfield School District. Property taxes are an important source of revenue for public education in Garfield County. Property taxes also go toward libraries, cities and county government, but the lions share will go to the school districts. The Constitution of the State of Utah provides the basic frame work for taxation and tax laws are made by the legislature. The County Assessor does not raise or lower the taxes; instead, the taxing bodies such as schools, cities, towns, and service districts levy the tax dollars. Each year the Utah State Tax Commission calculates the Certified Tax Rate. It is the basis of the value of property located in the County. The Tax Commission sets the rate that generates the same amount of property tax revenue each year for a particular taxing entity. If you compare the tax levied for school districts in the State of Utah, Garfield County School District is 15th from the bottom out of 41 districts. The Garfield County School District tax rate is lower than 26 other districts and higher than 14 other districts in the State. According to the State Tax Commission web page available to school districts, Garfield School District will assess a levy of .001910 in Board Local, .001910 in Capital Local, .001772 in Voted Local, 0 in General Obligation Bonds, and .001419 in Basic School set by the State. For a total tax rate of .006383 which will generate approximately $3,625,428. The State of Utah provides revenue in various line items of $7,124,801 and $351,390 in Federal Revenues. Citizens in Garfield County will see their tax notifications indicated a decrease in the amount of taxes collected this year when compared to last years. The reason for the decrease is because the County had an increase in their assessed evaluation which allows taxes rates to decrease. The reverse is also true; if the County decreases in the assessed evaluations, the tax rates will increase to ensure entities like the School District will receive the same amount of revenues as the previous year. Fortunately, the County has increased in assessed evaluations so many people will see a decrease in the taxes collected by the schools. Please know, the District will continue to be transparent and accountable to the public in all of its dealings.

–Superintendent Ben Dalton

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