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Education

Proposed Bond Isn't A Tough Sell For Growing Alpine School District

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Lee Hale
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The proposed $387 million bond will be spent on buildling new schools, renovating existing ones and aquiring new land.

 

Leaders of the Alpine School District areasking for support from Utah Valley residents on November 8th. Voters will decide on a proposed $387 million dollar bond for district expansion and renovation.

District officialsreleased an animated video to explain the proposed bond. In the video we're introduced to the "Lewis family" and they have some concerns.

 

"The kids are worried about their schools being too crowded," the video says. "Mom and dad Lewis are worried about their kids not getting the right attention with so many students.”

 

That worry is legitimate. In the next four years the district will increase by over 5,000 students. But here’s the real question on the minds of the Lewises:

 

“How will this bond impact the Lewis family’s property taxes?" the video asks. "The bond will do a number of things but the one thing it won’t do is raise property taxes.”

 

Robert Smith, the assistant superintendent of Alpine School District, says a lot of people have been him asking how that's possible. 

 

He answers by explaining that the bond works a lot like a mortgage on a house. And it’s made possible by commercial and residential growth in northern Utah Valley.

 

Just this past year property value increased by nearly two billion dollars. That value softens the blow of taxes. Although, there's still a cost.

 

"Well if the bond didn’t pass, obviously [property tax] would go down," says Smith. "We say that right up front.”

 

In a state known for the lowest spending per pupil in the country, is this a tough sell?

 

“For the majority of people, no," says Smith. "We did some independent surveys and the surveys were very positive.”

 

Smith says they understand the need. And if they do vote to approve the bond it will lead to 9 new schools, 4 school rebuilds, 10 renovations and more land acquisition.

 

Perhaps that will be enough to ease the minds of the Lewis family.  

 

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