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TAYLORSVILLE — City officials are working to balance the budget and reduce a proposed 47 percent property tax increase.
Taylorsville Mayor Jerry Rechtenbach said a tax hike is needed because revenues have flatlined while costs continue to increase. However, he and the City Council are working together to reduce the proposed tax increase.
As proposed, Taylorsville residents would pay an additional $112 per year in property tax on an average home valued at $197,000. Last year, Taylorsville residents were hit with a 15 percent property tax increase.
“If I were living in Taylorsville, I think I’d be mad as hell,” said Royce Van Tassell, vice president of the Utah Taxpayers Association. “I would say, ‘You raised my taxes last year … and now you want to come back and take more money out of Taylorsville residents’ pockets?’ That just can’t be justified. It’s inappropriate, and they need to find a way to make do with what they’ve got."
Rechtenbach said city leaders hope to decrease the proposed tax increase to between 26 percent and 29 percent.
You raised my taxes last year … and now you want to come back and take more money out of Taylorsville residents' pockets?
–Royce Van Tassell, vice president of the Utah Taxpayers Association
“What that means is we’re going to have to take away some essential services, some things people I’m not so sure are going to really want to take away,” the mayor said. “It’s going to come at a cost … but I’m accommodating what they’re asking me to do.”
Rechtenbach said his main concern for Taylorsville is the need to address the city’s aging infrastructure and declining economic development.
“Our city is aging,” he said “I’m mostly concerned about some of our older neighborhoods. We’ve got neighborhoods that are 50, 60 years old now that are rundown and need to be brought back to life.
“Also, we’ve got economic development we need to do to get the business back in. Our City Council, our public, the residents have said we really need to focus on economic development because we’ve got a number of storefronts that have gone dark over the last two years, and they’re concerned about that,” he said.
Rechtenbach said the tax increase is an investment necessary for Taylorsville to prevent further decline.
“Statistically, as your city declines, you get less desirable elements moving in, crime begins to increase, and then your costs actually become higher because now you have to have more police and fire (officials),” he said. “It snowballs from there.”