In last month’s edition of the Utah Taxpayer, we reviewed a few cities and school districts that are looking to increase their levies on taxpayers.
As happens every summer, cities and school districts, along with a few special service districts, prepare their budget for the new fiscal year and consider property tax increases.
The Utah Taxpayers Association generally opposes property tax increases. More often than not, funding for critical needs can be found within existing budgets by prioritizing and cutting waste. In many cases, a property tax increase for essential city needs such as public safety and infrastructure would not be necessary if the city were willing to cut lower spending priorities that are discretionary.
Here are just a few of the highlights for major tax increase proposals across the state. If you’d like to see a more comprehensive list, check the informational box at the bottom of this article.
Provo School District
Provo School District is looking at an increase in property taxes this year. The last time it raised rates was in 2009.
The Provo School Board has suggested that the new revenue, if approved, will go towards the purchase of new buses, as well as technology upgrades within the schools.
The district says that the average Provo homeowner who has a $250,000 home could pay an additional $100 a year.
If there’s any good news about this increase, the decision by the school district prompted the Provo City Council to remove the option of their tax hike this year.
The board began discussing the possibility of increasing the tax levy in February) It will hold a public meeting on the increase on August 9 and will set tax rates by August 22.
Ogden is proposing an increase of more than 30%. City officials are claiming that it would effectively be an increase of 3.29% to the average taxpayer, citing an existing bond that has since expired. However, this is a classic bait-and-switch on taxpayers.
Your Taxpayers Association strongly opposes this claim, and asks the city to advertise the true rate increase.
The money, the city says, is needed for additional employee compensation, as well as smaller capital improvements.
The Truth in Taxation hearing will be held on August 9th and 6 p.m.
Midvale City officials have proposing a whopping 145% property tax increase in their budget this upcoming fiscal year.
The city claims that without the increase, already deteriorating roads will not be maintained, and within 3 years, the city’s general fund balance will be less than its obligations, including servicing debt.
Capital projects they have proposed as part of this year’s budget include renovations to an outdoor amphitheater and a performing arts center, as well as building a pickleball court.
A Truth in Taxation hearing has been scheduled for August 9th at 7 p.m. We are still working with Midvale City officials to gather more information. We will update this post as we receive it.
Cache County School District
The Cache County School District tax on a $223,628 residence would increase from $548.19 to $595.54, which is $47.35 per year. The Cache County School District tax on a $223,628 business would increase from $996.71 to $1,082.81, which is $86.10 per year.
Roy is proposing an increase of more than $1 million a year.
City officials say the property tax is needed to include a cost-of-living adjustment for city employees, as well as funding some one-time equipment needs. The city has not had a property tax increase since 2005.
The Truth in Taxation hearing has been scheduled for the 16th of August at 6 p.m.
Logan City is also proposing a tax increase to fund its library system.
Logan Mayor Craig Peterson has stated the increase is to help fund operating expenses, as well as save up for the remodeling of an existing library or construction of a new facility.
The goal is to reach a $2 million pot, which can be used for the stated purposes above. Mayor Peterson has also suggested that there is a possibility of decreasing the property tax rate after reaching that threshold.
Let’s see if he holds true to that statement.
We have also compiled a list of the entities we are currently aware of that will attempt to raise property taxes this fall. This information was provided to us from the Utah State Tax Commission in late June. This may not be entirely representative of all tax increases, as some entities may have recently approved possible property tax increases, or have removed the option from the budgets. You can view this list in our July newsletter, linked here.