Dear Editor:

There was a letter and an advertisement in the newspaper (Moab Sun News, Nov. 8-14 edition) urging people to sign a petition in order to stop the current building process of the Grand County Middle School. It is coming from the perspective of “taxation without representation.” I just briefly wanted to address some of the misinformation that the organizers are putting out there.

They are claiming that this is “taxation without representation.” That is emotional language used to get people’s attention. Every taxpayer in this community is represented by a Grand County School Board member. The school board is using a process that is completely legal in the state of Utah and has been used by over 30 school districts in the state to finance a building. It has also been used by other agencies in this county to finance buildings.

Secondly, they are claiming that this will increase taxes. That is not correct. We are using a capital levy that has been in place for the last six years in order to finance this building. It will not increase and/or raise taxes beyond what the current tax rate is. The building will be financed out of that levy and will not cost the taxpayers an additional tax raise. The school board has actually been very prudent and cognizant of not wanting to place any additional burdens on the taxpayers. That is why they came up with this method six years ago and started saving to do it.

Their third claim is that this will cost more money than a general bond would cost. That is hard to determine and make any statement on. If the Federal Reserve meets and raises rates like they are expected to over the next year, at least three times, then this Local Building Authority Bond (LBA), will actually be less than a GO Bond would be in the next one to three years. The second point is that we would not be able to build the same building in two to three years for less money than we can build it today, as construction costs typically do not go down. Projected costs on building three years down the road increase the costs to around $3 million.

The fourth claim is that a general bond election, if approved, would cost the taxpayers an additional tax, whereas this method does not.

I would be happy to meet with anyone to discuss this further if you have additional questions.

JT Stroder


Grand County School District