Homeowners should see reduction in school taxes
I’m hoping to share some good news as tax statements have recently arrived. Homeowners of the Eden Valley-Watkins School District should find a pleasant surprise when opening their 2014 Property Tax Statements. Most residents should see a reduction in school taxes due to equalization enacted by the Legislature, and the results of our refinanced bond that took place a year ago. On average, a homeowner should see school taxes reduced by $11.00 for every $50,000 of property value. For instance, if your property is valued at $150,000 you are likely to see a $33.00 reduction.
While most of the funds for educating our children come from state income and sales taxes, The Eden Valley-Watkins School Board is most appreciative of our voter support for voter approved referendums that are critical to providing our quality education. As a result of our cooperative efforts and lobbying for new legislation, our total district property taxes dropped $61,730 and were replaced with state aid. That is the main reason you should see a reduction in your school property taxes.
I grew up in an era where cool jeans came outfitted with a tiny red rectangular tag and a number somewhere in the 500s. The choices were straightforward – boot-cut or straight leg, stonewashed or regular. Mom jeans hadn’t been invented, because those of us wearing them weren’t moms yet.
It was a simpler time – when jeans were jeans. They covered what they needed to cover and served as a practical staple in one’s wardrobe. Times have changed. Hip, fashion-forward folks make statements with their derrieres by way of fancy stitching, rhinestones and other gaudy adornments. Bling, baby – it’s hit our rear ends and it’s hit them hard.
I’m not merely talking about the attire of twentyish trendsetters – although they also follow the fad. I’m referring to moms, like me, bedazzling their backsides in ostentatious splendor – no ifs, ands or buts about it.
As you are aware, the City of Eden Valley moves into another phase of improvements to city streets, sanitary and storm sewers, and waterlines. Beginning Monday, April 14, 2014, you will notice detour and road-closed signs on Hwy. 22 heading North from Stearns Avenue to McCarthy Avenue. In the interest of safety, the streets under construction will be closed to traffic. When coming to school from the North, be sure to use the designated Hwy. 22 detour located along Co. Rd. 9, or the Vails Lake Rd. when coming from the Northwest.
Education Finance Bill
The current session is moving along quickly and legislators are working to complete some significant Bills in order to get back to their home districts for Easter Break. By the time you read this update, some Bills may already be signed and set for implementation into the 2014-15 school year.
The House Finance Bill has a target of 75 million, which includes a 1-percent improvement to the current student funding formula. The Senate Finance Bill has a target of 41 million and experienced some modifications this week. One major amendment to the Senate Finance Bill approved 10 million to be used for training and implementation of the mandated Teacher Development and Evaluation process set for the 2014-15 school year. You can be sure that a lot of bargaining and negotiating will be taking place throughout the week, and the current finance bills may undergo additional revisions.
The legislative session continues to heat up as various bills face debates on the House and Senate floors. The most notable is the Safe and Supportive Schools Act which is up for consideration, and we’ll be hearing results in the next few days. If passed at the Senate level, the bill would then go to the House for their approval.
In the meantime, the House will be discussing their finance package today. It includes
$75 million new dollars for schools. A portion of the House version will provide an additional 1 percent to the general education formula. These are dollars that will benefit every district in this state. Once approved by the House, it will be debated with the Senate which has $41 million budgeted for education. The majority of Senate proposed dollars is earmarked for early childhood education and scholarships.
I do not consider myself an excellent driver. I am good, or maybe just okay – around a B-minus to a C-plus if I were giving out grades. I am not great at maneuvering into tight parking spaces or knowing when it is my turn at a four-way stop. I am unsure of the direction to rotate my steering wheel when parking on a hill. Despite my shortfalls, I do understand roadway etiquette, or the unwritten standards of protocol every license-wielding driver should abide by. Trouble is, lots of them don’t.
And we all know who they are. (Certainly not us, not ever.)
Based on my near-death-due-to-frustration driving experiences over the past week, I decided to lay it out here. To put the pedal to the metal and tell it like it is. To provide the rules of the road, which aren’t rules, exactly, because most of them aren’t in any driving manual or rulebook, but they should be.
First, let’s talk texting. We understand we aren’t supposed to text and drive. We’ve taken the pledge. Still, I observe people doing it all the time. This is because the windows in your vehicle are transparent. I can see right through them. Being inside your car does not shield you in a cloak of invisibility. I can see when you pick your nose. I can see when you sing to the radio. I can see when you are texting; even if your phone is on your lap, your head is bent downward in the universal gesture of distraction. Stop it. Now. (Please.)