More than three-fourths of Canyons residents surveyed said they would support a hypothetical $200 million bond with no tax increase to repair school buildings in Canyons School District, a Dan Jones & Associates survey shows.
Of 402 registered voters surveyed, 41 percent said they definitely would support a $200 million bond that would not raise taxes. Another 35 percent said they probably would support such a bond, according to the survey, conducted Feb. 16-23. Seven percent said they probably would oppose such a bond, and 11 percent said they definitely would oppose such a bond. Two percent said it depends, and 3 percent didn’t know. Dr. Jones called the level of support “off the charts.” The survey has a plus- or minus 5 percent error margin.
The Board could seek $255 million in building bonds without a tax increase, CFO and General Counsel Keith Bradford said. The Board also could use $50 million from its capital outlay fund balance to take on a total $305 million in projects, also without a tax increase. An MHTN Architects study found Canyons schools require $647 million in renovations. The Board expressed desire, based on Dr. Jones’ recommendation, to seek a bond in June. It began discussions on building priorities, including seismic and air-conditioning upgrades, school rebuilds and a new high school in Draper to enable grade reconfiguration, and plans to firm up a three-phase plan by month’s end. The Board must adopt a bond resolution by April 8 in order to set a June bond election.
Canyons School District may face up to an $11.7 million revenue cut, depending on legislative action, Mr. Bradford reported. The Board received information about several potential cuts and cost-saving measures, including administrative furloughs. The Board will continue to study the issues over the next several months, with a legal budget deadline falling June 30.
Government Relations Director Charlie Evans reported on HB292 (Equalization of Funding for Divided School Districts). He also discussed bills that would shift taxes to help school district operation budgets and equalization, the latter of which presents a twist: Canyons District under the current equalization law would pay $2 million less, or a total of $1.4 million, next year, and Granite would become a recipient, because of the change in districts’ assessed valuation. Currently, all Salt Lake County school districts pay for equalization, with Jordan District the only district receiving the money.