Bond issue won’t raise taxes from current level
RIFLE – The Garfield School District Re-2 bond and mill levy override will not increase tax rates above current levels, according to school board members.Garfield County Assessor Shannon Hurst certified the assessed valuation of property in the Re-2 School District at $1.22 billion on Friday, Sept. 8.”Our estimates were right on,” commented school district Superintendent, Gary Pack.With the November bond and mill levy override issues fast approaching, the assessed valuation of the school district is very important.”It’s a done deal,” said school board president, Jay Rickstrew. “We couldn’t really know (that taxes would not increase) until the assessor certified the assessed valuation of the district.”Now, the school board knows without a doubt what they had anticipated from the beginning.”It’s historical,” Pack said. “This bond program will not require a tax-rate increase above current levels.”The school board carefully estimated the assessed valuation at $1.222 billion when they began compiling the proposal for the 2006 bond and mill levy override. The board members started working on the proposal in October of 2005. With their estimation, they calculated the amount of funds that the school district could request without increasing current tax rates.November ballot issue 3B, a $74.9 million bond, if passed, will pay for a number of upgrades to existing schools within the district, two new elementary buildings; one in Rifle, and a replacement facility for Roy Moore Elementary in Silt, and a new middle school in New Castle.If passed, the $1.6 million mill levy override – ballot issue 3A – will be used for additional teachers and staff, and to help cover increasing utilities and fuel costs.According to Theresa Hamilton, director of districtwide services for Re-2, the bond and mill levy override issues on the November ballot address the “immediate” needs of the school district. The immediate issues being, student safety, additional classrooms to address capacity issues, and smaller class sizes with the addition of more, qualified teachers.Initially, the cost to meet all of the needs districtwide was estimated around $230 million. However, with much thoughtful consideration, the facilities needs committee narrowed down what they saw to be “immediate needs” throughout the district. The final amount was estimated at $74.9 million to meet these specific needs.The main point the school board wants to get across, Hamilton said, “This bond program will not raise tax rates above current levels.”Contact John Gardner: 945-8515, ext. email@example.com
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