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School board passes multiple levies

April 15, 2019

Teton County School District No. 1 approved several changes to mill levies at its monthly meeting Wednesday night.

The school district’s recreation district mill levy was lowered from .7 mills to .45 mills due to higher assessed property values in Teton County. The mill rate is the amount of tax payable per dollar of the assessed value of a property and represents the amount per $1,000 of the assessed value of a property.

School board trustees said they voted to lower the mill rate because they can still raise the money they need without placing undue burden on property owners. The school district can levy a maximum of 1 mill on taxpayers at its discretion.

“It’s been nice to move some mills down and give the taxpayers a little bit more of their own,” Trustee Bill Scarlett said during the school board meeting.

The school district lowered its mill levy for the second year in a row. It went from .9 mills in 2017 to .7 mills in 2018 and now to .45. The recreation board said it had originally planned on lowering the mill to .6 this year, but calculations from Scarlett helped it realize that it would have enough with the assessed property values and some leftover money in its reserves.

School Board Chairwoman Betsy Carlin praised Scarlett for the “fiscally conservative” approach.

“It’s a positive move while still making sure there are enough funds to fund all the amazing opportunities after school and during the summer and on the weekends for the kids in our community,” Carlin said.

Recreation district funds are doled out to numerous community organizations, as well as school district programs and the Teton County/Jackson Parks and Recreation Department. The purpose of the recreation district is to “provide resources to maintain present facilities and programs, to develop future facilities and programs that provide recreational value for the students and community.”

Twenty-one community nonprofits applied and requested funds for fiscal year 2019-20, from Teton Literacy Center and the Art Association of Jackson Hole to Slow Food in the Tetons and Jackson Youth Hockey. Five Parks and Rec requests, including funding for teen summer camp programs, kayaks and athletic field maintenance on school district property, are listed on the application sheet. The school district also receives money from the mills, funding everything from the Special Olympics to the CREST offering during no-school days.

The school board will consider all the applications and award grants at 1 p.m. May 15.

The board also approved a .2 mill levy for C-V-BOCES and a .2 mill levy for CWC, both consistent with last year’s requests. The CWC mill goes to Central Wyoming College for providing services and resources to Teton County students in concurrent enrollment courses; the C-V mill goes to Region 5 Board of Cooperative Education Services, a network of accredited schools that provide services for students who require diversified learning and highly focused programming. That includes the C-V Ranch Residential Treatment Facility, which is located in Wilson but serves students in school districts across Wyoming.

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