September 26, 2022
The Utah Taxpayers Association has elected to take a neutral position on the proposed issuance of $595 million in debt by the Alpine School District.
This will be the largest issuance of school district bond debt ever in Utah. While the amount of the proposal is staggering, at $595 million, Alpine is unique in that it is the largest school district in Utah and is experiencing rapid growth at the same time. The size of the district combined with the many needs for new construction in the hyper growth areas as well as renovation needs for older buildings in the more established areas of the district combines for a large amount of taxpayer dollars needed to meet the needs of the district.
The innovative strategy by ASD of staggering the debt issuance over a number of years provides some protection for taxpayers that should result in less impact to the overall tax burden. Aggressive repayment of principal on previously issued debt is also making this strategy possible.
The Association believes that the statement: “the bond will not increase the tax rate” can be misleading to voters. The correct explanation of the proposal is: that without the issuance of this new debt, taxes would be lowered in upcoming years. If this debt is issued according to the plan, the overall tax burden on district taxpayers should remain approximately the same as now going forward.
*Note: The impending vote on the proposed split of Orem into a new district will not affect this bond issue. If the district is split, corresponding projects within the new district and the dollar amount of those projects will be pulled out of the $595 million total and be voted on and implemented by the new governing body.
For any questions please contact the Utah Taxpayers Association at [email protected]