Canyons School District Bond: What should have happened

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Canyons School District Bond: What should have happened

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On November 7, adults in Canyons School District’s boundaries voted on a bond that would allow Canyons to use the money for schools in need of rebuilding, remodeling, or other improvements. There would even be another elementary school if the bond passed.

The bond did pass, as noted by The Salt Lake Tribune article “Bonds passing in four of six school districts, including Granite and Canyons,” and it won’t disappoint those who wanted the bond to pass, especially teachers at Hillcrest. These teachers have said Hillcrest is in disrepair, and that statement can’t really be argued against. Still, what may be the bad side of the bond?

First, Canyons District has stated multiple times that taxes will not increase for citizens, and their flyers indicate this. There’s a reason why the taxes will not spike up: they have already been up since the last bond approved for Canyons School District in 2010.

Even in 2017, according to the Utah State Tax Commission, property taxes thanks to the 2010 bond are still higher than 2009 rates. Now, with the bond having passed, parents can expect their property taxes to remain at the high rate that they’ve been at for the past 7 years. Not to mention, according to the Deseret News article “Utah voters on track to OK more than $600 million in school bond issues,” the bond will be repaid over 20 years. Although they seem to be neutral, the rates are higher-than-normal.

Another problem is that the district would not provide information about which one of the projects proposed in the bond would happen first until after the bond would pass. For voters, this poses a problem because voters won’t know where their money will go first. If one thinks this is just a rumor, perhaps they should check out Canyons School District’s official website for the bond, specifically their FAQ. On that page, when asked about the order of the projects, Canyons replies, “The Board of Education has not yet determined the order in which these projects will be undertaken. The board has stressed that all projects are a priority, and has committed to complete all of them.”

Although many of the projects are rebuilding schools, there are other projects involved in the bond, like building classrooms to replace Corner Canyon’s portables, according to the aforementioned Deseret News article.

Lastly, there are legal issues with the Friends of Canyons School District. Another Salt Lake Tribune titled, “D.A. reviewing whether Canyons School District’s mailers about $283M bond proposal broke the law,” a possibly is provided that the district may have caused an action that would be a class B misdemeanor, which, according to utcourts.gov, could be up to six months in the slammer and a fine of $1,000. According to the previously-mentioned Salt Lake Tribune article, the Friends of Canyons School District sent out bond flyers without first registering with the state, even though that changed when they heard of the issue. Additionally, another investigation mentioned in the article is about if district money (taxpayers’ dollars) being spent on flyers mailed out to adults.

What a headache a bond can be. Canyons may have had the right intentions with the idea of the bond, but the execution was not great. For one, they may have not mailed out bond flyers legally. Also, they wouldn’t provide information for voters that would help them decide what to vote on November 7. Lastly, the district is keeping property taxes higher-than-normal compared to before 2010. The execution and planning of the bond mean everything for the bond’s success.

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