School bond and tax elections in Utah

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School bond and tax elections in Utah happen under two circumstances:
  • To issue new bonds.
  • To exceed the state debt limit protected by the Utah Constitution.

Laws affecting school finance

Utah sinking fund bond

The State of Utah uses a sinking fund mechanism in order to fund bond issues for school districts in the state.[1]

Under Utah law, school districts can issue bonds for:

  • Acquiring, improving, or extending any facility a school district owns.
  • Outright acquisition in any improvements, facilities, or property or owning a stake of a improvement, facility, or property to be acquired with one or more government entity.
  • Bonding for the purpose of building or extending schools, gymnasiums, auditoriums, theaters, museums, art galleries, libraries, stadiums, arenas, and other facilities including property acquisitions.
  • Electric light works, electric generating systems, HVAC repairs, and any other improvements to the school buildings.[2]

Bonds in Utah must be issued with a 40 year maturity date and they can be sold at, below, or excess of its par value.[3]

Utah state debt limit

The Utah Constitution has a debt limit for school districts that is guaranteed protection by its constitution. Article XIV, Section 3, of the Utah Constitution states that school districts in Utah cannot exceed its debt beyond the total amount of tax revenue it brings in every year. The limit varies every year on how much revenue is brought in for a respective school district.[4]

If voters of a school district authorize their district to go over the state debt limit, then districts cannot exceed more than four percent of the value of taxable property within the district.[5]

Conduct of the bond election, limitations, rules

Authority conducting elections

The respective county clerk is responsible for conducting school tax and bond elections in Utah.[6]

Election dates

All school bond elections are generally held in Utah during the first Tuesday in November in each odd-numbered year.[7] Bond elections can also be held in conjunction with a regular statewide general or primary.[8]

Needed majority

A simple majority is needed to pass an election involving the state mandated debt limit[9] or a bond issue.[10]


Special elections

Special elections are allowed for a bond issue.[11]. The special election must be held during the fourth Tuesday in June or the the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.[12]

Wording of measures

A referendum involving the state debt limit must be numbered and end in the words "For" and "Against" along with check boxes to mark the response.[13]

For bond issue elections, the ballot must be formatted with a ballot title for the bond proposition that includes the name of the government entity (school district, municipal government) issuing the bonds and the word "bond" or an identification of the type of bonds. The ballot question must include the maximum principal amount of the bonds, the maximum number of years from when the bonds are issued to the date of maturity, the purpose for which the bonds are to be issued, and if the bond issue will require a increase of property taxes imposed upon the average value of a residence by an amount that is greater than or equal to $15 per year. On an official ballot, this disclaimer must be stated:

"NOTICE OF PROPERTY TAX INCREASE DUE TO BOND ISSUANCE"


Passage of the proposition means that the tax on a (insert the average value of a residence in the taxing entity rounded to the nearest thousand dollars) residence would increase $_______ per year.
The tax on a (insert the value of a business having the same value as the average value of a residence in the taxing entity) business would increase $______ per year."
[14]


The bond issue must end in "For the issuance of bonds" and "Against the issuance of bonds," with appropriate check boxes for the voter to indicate their choice.[15]

Required notice of bond election

Any school district that seeks to issue new bonds must have a resolution calling for an election at a minimum of seventy-five (75) days before the election regardless if it is a special or regular election.

The resolution must be sent to the County Clerk and the Lieutenant Governor of Utah along with the language of the ballot question.[16]

For elections that are using the Utah State debt limit, there is no minimum notice requirement as the Utah Initiative and Referendum laws deal with ballot questions involving the Constitution.[17]

See also

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External links

References

  1. "Utah Legislature" Utah Bond Issue Law(Referenced Section 53A-18-105 Utah Code)
  2. "Utah Legislature" Utah Bond Issue Law(Referenced Section 11-14-103(1) Utah Code)
  3. "Utah Code" Utah Bond Issue Law(Referenced Section 11-14-302(1))
  4. [http://le.utah.gov /~code/const/htm/00I14_000300.htm "Utah Legislature" Utah Constitution](Referenced Section, Article XIV, Section 3(A))
  5. "Utah Legislature" Utah Constitution(Referenced Section, Article XIV, Section 4-1-B)
  6. "Utah Legislature" Utah School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 20A-5-400.5. Utah Code)
  7. "Utah Legislature" Utah School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 20-A-102, Utah Code)
  8. "Utah Legislature" Utah Bond Issue Law(Referenced Section 11-14-203(A) Utah Revised Statutes)
  9. "Utah Legislature" Utah Constitution(Referenced Section, Article XIV, Section 3(A))
  10. "Utah Legislature" Utah Bond Issue Law(Referenced Section 11-14-201, Utah Revised Statutes)
  11. "Utah Legislature" Utah Bond Issue Law(Referenced Section 20A-1-203 (5)(A))
  12. "Utah Legislature" Utah Bond Issue Law(Referenced Section 20A-1-204(1))
  13. "Utah Legislature" Utah School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 20A-7-509 Utah Statutes)
  14. "Utah Legislature" Utah School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 11-14-206(2)(A-C) Utah Statutes)
  15. "Utah Legislature" Utah School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 11-14-206 (2)(D) Utah Statutes)
  16. "Utah Legislature" Utah Bond Issue Law(Referenced Section 11-14-201, Utah Revised Statutes)
  17. "Utah Legislature" Utah Bond Issue Law(Referenced Section 53A-16-110 Utah Code)