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Fiscal Accountability & Transparency

Proven Track Record of Fiscal Responsibility

Summit School District values the support of the community and the taxpayer investments made to support the students, teachers and staff in the district’s nine schools.

The district conducts an annual audit of its budget and makes that available–along with several other budget documents–on its web site for the public to review. Please visit www.summitk12.org/business-services/financial-transparency for more information about the district’s fiscal accountability and transparency.

The district’s fiscal efforts include:

  • Receiving a Triple Aaa credit rating from Moody’s. Much like a personal credit score, Summit School District maintains the highest level of credit worthiness and is one of only three school districts in Colorado with this highest rating.

  • Refinancing its previous, voter-approved bonds in 2021 to take advantage of lower interest rates, saving district taxpayers more than $600,000.

  • Reducing the current mill levy rate by 1.967 mills in December 2023 to 16.9 mills to help limit the impact of recent property value reassessments.

  • Keeping the district’s overall mill levy of 16.9 mills low compared to the statewide average of 32 mills. 

 Bond:

The proposed bond investments will prioritize housing to support teacher and staff recruitment and retention; critical building maintenance across the district; investments in career and technical education through a dedicated Innovation Center; and safety, security and technology improvements.

ESTIMATED FISCAL IMPACT

The proposed bond amount of $195.4 million would increase property taxes approximately $158 per year, less than $13 per month, for a $1 million value home within the district.

 

With property tax assessments and collections increasing recently, why does the school district need additional funding?

Colorado’s school-finance act sets a base level of funding per pupil for each school district. The funding formula is then applied to the district after conducting an annual pupil count. Once that budget is established, the district applies its local property tax collections toward its overall budget, and any deficits in the budget are then made up by the state. If property tax collections increase, as they have recently, that increases the local funding share and decreases the amount the state provides—which is what has happened here in Summit County with the recent increase in property values. 
 
Increases in local property values does not increase the funding level set by the state–it only reduces the amount of backfill received from the state. This is unlike other local governments funded by property taxes like the county or districts.
 
Districts may also have a Mill Levy Override—a voter-approved increase in property taxes to provide additional funds for priorities like classroom materials, teacher retention, and safety and security.
 
Finally, districts use dedicated property taxes to repay voter-approved bonds. Typically, the property tax question caps the annual collection amount to repay the bonds, limiting the amount of taxes that can be collected. When assessments increase, the district actually lowers its mill levy rate for this property tax to stay within the collection limit.
 
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