The County Treasurer will be mailing the 2020 tax statements to West Valley taxpayers next week. We would like to make you aware of some differences you will see in the levy tax rate as compared to the rate advertised during the 2019 bond campaign. The School Board and District felt it important to immediately communicate this issue with the community along with the proposed corrective action.
During the 2019 bond campaign it was communicated to the West Valley taxpayers the levy tax rate would be $1.50/$1000. The actual levy tax rate that will appear on your 2020 tax statements will be $1.77/$1000 a difference of $0.27/$1000.
Several factors contributed to the difference.
In 2018, the Legislators mandated a Local Enhancement (levy) tax rate limit of $1.50/$1000 for the 2019 calendar year, and the following year raised the limit to $2.50/1000 for the 2020 calendar year.
The Board approved Resolution 17-11-665, authorizing the approximate levy rate of $1.50/$1000 and an amount up to $5,965,626.
The proposition on the voter ballot and approved by the voters was the approximate levy rate of $1.50/ $1000 assessed value and the levy amount of up to $5,965,626 to be collected in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, as authorized by the School Board.
The District’s certified amount of $5,965,626, from the approved 2019-2020 district budget, was used by the County Assessor to determine the levy tax rate, which created a tax rate of $1.77/$1000. Even though the rate determined by the Assessor is more than the $1.50/$1000 that was advertised and approved by voters it still falls within the newly imposed higher levy cap of $2.50/$1000 and therefore not questioned by the County Assessor’s office. Neglecting to double check the information being used to certify tax rates was a District error.
The School Board and District are committed to correcting this error and delivering on promises made during the 2019 bond campaign. The School Board has directed administration to prepare a resolution for the next board meeting on February 11, 2020 to address this situation. The proposed corrective action will be to defer the additional revenue collected in 2020 for future use. The following year the District will reduce the 2021 tax amount by the excess 2020 tax collection, ensuring the combined two-year total does not exceed the amount originally advertised in the 2019 bond campaign.
In the future the District will no longer use the Board approved budget to certify the tax amounts with the County Assessor, the District will obtain the County Assessor’s assessed valuation for the following year to calculate the new tax amounts and the Board will approve a resolution each November, indicating the new tax amounts to be certified with the County Assessor.
Please join us at the School Board meeting on February 11, 7pm at the West Valley High School library for further discussion on this matter.