Mayor Corroon proposes property tax increase

Mayor Corroon proposes property tax increase

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SALT LAKE COUNTY -- Salt Lake County's mayor is now asking for a $13.4 million property tax increase, despite nixing a similar proposal from the county council months ago.

Peter Corroon said the county simply can't cut anymore after trimming jobs, wages, 401(k) contributions, open days at county outdoor pools and Sundays at 10 county recreation centers.

"At some point you have to say there are things we won't sacrifice," Corroon told KSL Newsradio in an interview Wednesday. "I said I won't sacrifice public safety and I won't sacrifice programs for our seniors and our children, so that's where we drew the line."

The 2010 budget would provide for the operation of the newly reopened Oxbow Jail and the Salt Lake County Fair.

"I think if people understand what the money is being used for, they're OK about it," Corroon said.

The tax hike would cost the owner of a $260,000 home $20.85 more per year. A million-dollar business would owe $171 more per annum.

"It's an increase, but in light of what we're protecting and the services we're keeping, I think it's worthwhile," Corroon said.

In prepared remarks to the county council on the budget, Corroon said Salt lake County is now "in the eye of the storm" when it comes to the economic downturn. The 2009 county budget was $801 million. The proposed 2010 budget stands at $638 million.

Corroon said he did not believe the county can cut any further "without harming the essential services" the county has to provide.

Nearly four months ago, Corroon said no to a $5 million tax "shift" proposed by the county council. Corroon says this is also considered a tax "shift" -- switching revenue sources from declining sales tax revenues to a property tax increase voters have already approved.

The county council must still approve Corroon's proposal.


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