In Saturday’s Park Record, the Editorial Staff expounded on the Park City School District’s desire to create a $56 million bond for upgrades to its facilities. It was a good editorial that explained history of school bonds in Park City, what a bond would cost an average Park City taxpayer, and what the School District wanted built. Yet, the finish left a little to be desired. It said:
Yet, please pull out your property tax statement you recently received from Summit County. If you are the person with a $600,000 home (the average home price in the school district), you are already paying $1,100 a month.
So, it’s not as if the average person is only going to pay $10 a month for schools, if they vote for this bond issue. They are already paying $1100 a year (or almost a $100 per month). This adds $10-$15 to that each month (or 10%-15%). If you are a second home owner, you are probably paying quite a bit more.
The implication of the Park Record Editorial’s last paragraph was that this school bond is only $10 a month. They imply for $10 a month you could have either better schools or HBO. Yet, in reality, taxpayers are already paying substantial amounts to fund our better-than-average schools.
Let’s say you could spend that extra $10 per month on schools. Will it make our schools significantly better? Will this $10 up your property values. Will it change the lives of our underserved kids? Will it increase the percentage of our kids going to college from 94% to 95%? Is it worth it?
Keep in mind, that we could spend that $56 million on anything. We could work to make our transportation system better. We could give it to Basin Rec, for better athletic facilities, trails, and open space. We could give it to non profits that are making strides in our community. We could invest it in economic incentives, so that our kids may be able to work here when they get out of college. We could build a massive amount of affordable housing.
$56 million is a lot of money. Unlike what the Park Record insinuated, it’s just not just HBO money. It’s money that could be used to really make our community better.
The question is whether the schools, at this point, are the best use of these funds. Or, is there a better place to use that money.