Re-2 will deliver if given chance with tax hike |

Re-2 will deliver if given chance with tax hike

Garfield School District Re-2 is at a critical point with our budget and resources.

We have been open and honest with our taxpayers and parents regarding the affairs of the district. You are always welcome to information and always welcome to visit our schools.

Even though we cut our current budget $1.4 million, we were still unable to give cost-of-living raises to our staff. We could not and would not spend money we do not have.

The decision to ask our taxpayers for additional funds was not easy. It takes courage and commitment to come forward in tough economic times and ask for your support.

The district has never asked our taxpayers for a mill levy override, but we need their support now more than ever.

We have no place left to cut our budget except in teachers, staff and materials that will impact the classroom. Our students will lose, class size will increase, available funds will have to be shared between two high schools, lessening many of the great programs at Rifle High School. Our steady progress towards improving student achievement would be impeded, while our well-trained staff looks for higher wages in surrounding districts.

There has also been some confusion regarding the calculation of the cost of the override to residential and business property.

The net average increase of $34 per $100,000 of assessed valuation of residential property was calculated as an estimated bottom-line effect on residential taxes for simplicity. The state amendment (Gallagher) will reduce the average residential property tax an estimated $60 per $100,000. The total cost of the override is $94 per $100,000 (11.79 mills). Subtracting the $60 from the $94 gets to an estimated $34 per $100,000 bottom-line increase to residential tax statements.

Business and commercial property do not benefit from the Gallagher Amendment, so the 11.79 mills cost them an estimated $342 per $100,000 of property value. The difference between residential tax rates and business and commercial tax rates are the reason why the gas and oil industry will pay an estimated 45 percent of the override.

The need for financial resources in our school district is not going away. Even if the state economy turns upward it will be many years before schools see any positive effects. We need to get this override done and keep our district moving forward, not backward.

Districts all around us either currently have or are asking their voters to support a mill levy override. Even those that have them will probably need to go back to the taxpayers for additional assistance. School funding and school finance in Colorado is just that difficult at this time.

The school board that governs the Garfield Re-2 School District would like for you to know that we take our jobs very seriously. The current board has worked together for several years and has been known in this region for our financial excellence. We have made it a point to thoroughly understand school finance and our budget.

We would not ask the voters for something we did not need and we need your help now. Your elected school board promises results if you give our 4,000 students and 500 staff this chance.

Together we can make a difference. Vote Yes on 3B. It’s the right thing to do.

– Vicki Van Van Engelenburg of New Castle is president of the Garfield Re-2 School Board.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User