SPANISH FORK -- Things are going up in the Nebo School District -- namely taxes and the number of students who attend schools in quiet burgs stretching from Springville to Payson.
Enrollment increases in the southern Utah County district's 29 schools have been slow but steady. But officials, expecting more than 20,000 students for the first time this fall, are preparing to keep up with growth.Part of the district's planned tax increase of $17.11 on a home assessed at $100,000 will go toward land for future schools and textbooks. Members of Nebo's Board of Education voted this week to adopt a tentative budget that includes the increase.
The tax increase is due in part because three of the district's taxes -- the voted and board leeway levies and the 10 percent of basic levy -- will be raised. The voted leeway has been below a state established limit for two years. If it isn't raised, the district will eventually lose money, said Tracy Olson, Nebo's business manager.
"Overall, we really won't gain any more money," Olson said.
A final public hearing on the proposed $90.4 million budget -- which is up from last year's total expenditures of $89.9 million -- is scheduled for Aug. 11.
Finding money to pay teachers, buy supplies and run schools isn't always easy for Nebo officials. Like the Alpine School District in northern Utah County, Nebo doesn't fare well in the amount given by the state for education.
Last year, as a result of the funding matrix based on the assessed value of businesses and homes in the largely rural area, Nebo was 34th of 40 districts in the amount received to operate its 29 schools.
The Utah Taxpayer's Association has been making the rounds at local school board meetings, giving kudos to districts such as Nebo that aren't planning on drastic tax increases.
The association has concerns that taxes will be raised to cover the amount lost by changes in car registration and a recent Utah Supreme Court ruling giving most of the state's airline taxes to Salt Lake County and Salt Lake School District, said Jared Webber, one of the association's representatives.
The association estimates district patrons may have to pay an extra $35 on a home valued at $100,000 as a result of the court decision and changed registration laws.