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Are Your Taxes Increasing? 57 Local Governments are Looking to Increase Your Property Taxes

Every June, cities and school districts, along with a few special service districts, prepare their budget for the new fiscal year and consider whether to increase property taxes. Under Utah’s Truth-in-Taxation law, they can accept the certified tax rate which guarantees the same property tax revenue as last year, plus property taxes generated from new growth, or they can propose to exceed the certified rate, and go through a public notice and an August public hearing process which allows taxpayers to voice their concerns in a public meeting.

Generally, the Utah Taxpayers Association opposes proposals to exceed the certified tax rate because it results in 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. 

Across the state there are 57 taxing entities which have proposed to raise taxes. A list of all 57 is at the bottom of this article. Here are a few major tax increases your Taxpayers Association is most concerned about. 

Tax Hikes to Fund School District Salary Wars – Salt Lake County

Salt Lake County taxpayers need to be aware of tax increases proposed by two large school districts, spurred by an attempt to increase teacher salaries. 

First, the Canyons School District Board of Education announced in May that it approved  a $50,000 starting wage for teachers this fall and a $7,665 annual raise for all certified teachers. 

This equates to a $140.32 increase on the average home valued at $421,000 in the district, if it is approved. Businesses with the same valuation can expect to pay more than $2,500 annually to the district, an increase of $255. This is an increase of about 10%. 

Soon, Murray School District would follow suit, raising starting teacher salary to $50,000, and giving all teachers a $6,961 pay raise. 

Taxpayers in Murray can expect to pay 12.6% more in property taxes, with the average home valued at $322,000 paying $123 more than 2018’s $850, with businesses of the same value paying $1,769, an increase of $223. 

The Jordan School District Board announced in June that they would try to match Canyons and Murray’s proposal. But due to their relatively lower commercial base (which produces greater property taxes than residential property), and larger student population, they negotiated with their teachers to increase pay by $6,000, and start new teachers at a salary of $48,000. 

The average homeowner in Jordan School District with a valuation of $379,000 will pay $77 more, with an annual total of $1,211. Businesses of the same value will pay $2,201, an increase of $140. This equates to an increase of nearly 7%. 

Iron County School District

Iron County School District says that is maintaining the same tax rate as the previous year, but in reality, due to increases in property valuation, the tax rate should have decreased. They are freezing the rate in order to pay for additional teacher compensation and security upgrades in their schools. 

Iron County School District is taking a different tactic to try and avoid appearing to raise taxes, but don’t be fooled. This is a tax increase. 

Homeowners with an average valuation of $222,000 can expect to pay $28.82 more annually, bringing the total to $564.69, if the hike is approved. Businesses can expect to pay $52.39 more, bringing the annual total to $,1026. This is a percentage increase of 5%. 

Park City School District

Park City is also looking to increase teacher compensation, and this is the third year in a row they have increased taxes to pay for it. Oddly, Park City District teachers are already compensated above $100,000 annually,giving it far and away the highest paid teachers in the state. 

Park City homeowners, valued at $727,000 can expect to pay $115 more, to a total of $1,768. Businesses of the same value will pay $3,216, an increase of $209. This equates to an increase of nearly 7%. 

While the Utah Taxpayers Association supports efforts to compensate teacher fairly, we believe there are additional ways for taxpayers to receive more efficiency for less. All districts have said these tax increases are going entirely to teachers, but without requiring additional training days or teacher work days, the compensation is without merit. Therefore, your Taxpayers Association opposes these tax increases. 

Layton City

Layton City is looking to build a new fire station on the east side of the city. However, the city officials plan on using an ongoing property tax increase in order to pay for this one-time expense. 

The increase would raise the average homeowner’s, valued at $310,000 property taxes by $60.78 to $303.57. The average business of the same value can expect to pay $551.95 if the increase is approved, which is an increase of $110, or 25%. 

Your Taxpayers Association has long held the principle that bonding is a much more appropriate way to pay for capital expenses, whether that be for public safety or a school building. Forcing taxpayers to pay in perpetuity for a one-time expense is a giant tax increase hidden under the guise of a necessary government function. 

Brigham City

Brigham City hasn’t raised property taxes since 2001, and leaders say they cannot adequately pay for basic government functions, like police and fire services. They are looking to more than double property taxes residents and businesses pay. 

City officials are looking to increase the average homeowner’s (valued at $225,000) property taxes from $132 to $279 annually. Businesses will also pay $266 more, to annual total of $505.80, an increase of 111%. City officials say they need to recapture inflationary costs. 

South Weber City

South Weber is also looking to increase taxes to a similar degree of Brigham City. Officials say the city hasn’t raised property taxes since the 1970s, and need to raise taxes in order to pay increasing costs of existing services. 

Taxes on the average homeowner, valued at $345,000 will raise to $273 from $136, if approved. Businesses in the city of the same valuation can expect to pay $497.02, an increase of $248. This is an increase of nearly 100% on both homeowners and businesses. 

2019 Proposed TnT - Sheet1(2)

2 Responses to “Are Your Taxes Increasing? 57 Local Governments are Looking to Increase Your Property Taxes”

  1. Bob Emenger says:

    Your claim that the increase in teacher’s salaries is without merit is pure ignorance. In case you haven’t read a newspaper for the past year , there is a crisis and/or shortage of qualified teachers. This is due to excessive work hours, payment for supplies out of their own pocket, ridiculously low salary for their level of education and training, and lack of administrative support. The school districts recognize that the increases are long overdue to attract and keep qualified professions to teach our children. You may want your kids to get the cheapest, most inexperienced, non-qualified instructor but the taxpayers (as shown by recent polling) overwhelming support the increases. Seriously, you object to an increase of $140/year in taxes??? Bypass Starbucks once a week and you’ll save the money.

  2. Excellent explanation, it’s simple & focus. Keep up the great work!

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