The Jordan School Board Monday night approved a $5.88 million tax levy payable 2020 for the 2020-21 school year, marking a total levy increase of 0.51% over the prior year.
The levy allocates $724 per pupil unit — the maximum amount districts are eligible to receive without voter approval. Outside of a public referendum, revenue formulas — including local levy and state aid — are set by the state Legislature. The state average is $1,202 per student, according to Finance Director Amy Hafemann.
However, the modest levy increase doesn’t necessarily mean there will be a tax increase for local residents due to a rise in referendum market value and net tax capacity.
“If you have a home value of $150,000, for the school district tax portion you might see a decrease of 4.38%, assuming that the taxable market value remains the same,” Hafemann said. “If you have a $350,000 home, you might see a 4.52% decrease in your levy based on your home value.”
The tax levy supports the district’s general, community service and debt services funds. General fund revenue is based on student enrollment and covers a variety of expenses, including classroom instruction and educational activities, student transportation, capital expenditures, facilities operation and maintenance and extracurricular activities. The 2019 levy allocates $2.5 million to this fund, presenting a 5.77% increase over the previous year.
The debt service fund covers the district’s outstanding bonded indebtedness. The district’s current debt is a result of voter-approved bond issues for the 2003 construction of the high school and addition to the elementary school and the 2014 middle school remodel and construction of the CERC. The 2019 levy allocates $3.2 million to this fund, presenting a 3.55% decrease over the prior year.
The community services fund provides for enrichment programs for individuals outside K-12 programming. This includes early childhood family education, school readiness and adult education programs. The levy allocates $134,772 to this fund, presenting a 0.57% increase over the prior year.
Hafemann said 84% of district revenue comes from state aid, only 13% is collected locally and 3% is made up of federal dollars.
The total increase was buoyed by a clean audit opinion from Eide Bailly, the certified public accounting and business advisory firm that conducts the district’s annual audit. The opinion is based on whether district financial statements were prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, free from material misstatement and fairly presented.
Overall, auditors certified that the district ended the year with a positive general fund balance, which contributes to a favorable bond rating, produces investment income and leaves room for unexpected expenses.