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Granite school board approves small tax hike

First Published      Last Updated Aug 08 2014 09:13 pm

The Granite School Board unanimously approved a 2.54 percent property tax increase Thursday night.

A resident with a home valued at just over $222,000 — the district average — will pay $22.24 more per year.

Four residents spoke in favor of the increase during the meeting, and no one spoke against, district spokesman Ben Horsley said on Friday.

The tax hike won't fund new initiatives, but will enable the district to continue supporting the district's 68,100 students.

The majority of the new revenue, $3.7 million, will pay for three teacher training days, which were cut from the district during the recession that began in 2008, Horsley said.

"This is a priority for our board to increase teacher quality," he said. "It's clear that improved instruction on the part of our teachers goes to enhanced academic outcomes."

The district previously had five paid teacher training days.

The budget calls for continued closure of the Mill Hollow Outdoor Education Center program, but Horsely said the district is looking into additional revenue sources to open it again next summer.

Utah lawmakers no longer allow school districts to impose property tax levies for recreation, and funding for the center dried up, said Horsley.

The closure saves the district about $350,000 a year, Horsley said, although it will still pay about $150,000 a year to maintain the facilities under an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service.