Thursday, October 05, 2006

Is the new high school too expensive?

The Vote Yes for a new High School website has a list of "Frequently Asked Questions" (as the site is relatively know, how frequently could they have been asked?)

#9 Poses this question - and "answer." Is the new high school too expensive? In 1964, the bond passed to build the current high school cost 17% of the value of all property in Wasatch County. The 2006 bond is only 3% of all property value. The building is not elaborate, but it is a sound educational design.

So effectively they are saying, if you don't support this bond you are a cheapskate and not willing to support education the children. In actuality, this comparison doesn't answer the question and is irrelevant. BUT, are the figures even correct?

An interesting little anomaly here. Cost, data and sources are not provided for their conclusion. According to the Wasatch County Offices the total property value for 1964 is not readily available, however the ASSESSED value record is available on microfilm (which was reportedly used to research the figures.)

However, from 1961 - 1978 the Statutory Assessment Level (% of Market Value) was 30 %. Currently it is 100% (with a 45% residential exemption). See Property Tax History

So, if assessed values are being used rather than market values, the cost of the 1964 school would have been more like 5% - if we compare apples to apples!!! What's that old adage - figures can lie, and . . . ?

What was the price of the 1964 school used in the calculation? No number or source is given.

What was the real assessed/ appraised/??? property values in Wasatch County in 1964?

What is it today? (2005 WASATCH $1,888,743,778) Today, indeed, $60 million is 3%
In 2000, total property value was $1,288,186,733

No comments: