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Utah cities requesting tax increases to fund new schools, roads

By Richard Piatt | Posted - Aug 7th, 2013 @ 8:07pm



SOUTH JORDAN — The Jordan School District has recently requested for a $495 million bond to help pay for more schools, but many other cities are also demanding for higher taxes to pay for newer facilities.

The Jordan School District has recently dealt with massive growth requiring the need for new schools as well as repairs for the old schools. Residents will be able to vote on the bond in November.

However, Pleasant Grove has a plan to impose a 52 percent property tax increase. The city wants to apply for a bond for $150 million per year for a new public safety building. The request is one of 46 requests from other cities around the state to pay for better roads and basic services.

Provo, Highland and several other towns said they need more money for to improve public roads, and several Weber County towns said they need more money to fund their law enforcement.

Former State Budget Director, Ron Bigelow, said that taxes may be rising because many cities feel like they have been "backed into a corner."

"Most cities have strapped themselves down so much that the only option left to them is to cut service or to raise taxes," Bigelow said.

Bigelow worked for years to balance the Utah state budget. He said the state is benefiting more from the slow economic recovery than cities and school districts are.

The increase on property taxes will vary with each city. The Jordan district's $450,000 dollar increase would translate to $240 dollars more per year for homeowners in that area. In Provo, the impact of paying for updated roads would cost taxpayers $2.72 a year. The Pleasant Grove residents would have a $152 a year tax increase.

Jordan District's tax increase is a request that will require voter approval, and a truth in taxation hearing will be held Wednesday night in Pleasant Grove to give taxpayers an opportunity to voice their opinions. A large group gathered to protest the tax increase at the Pleasant Grove Fire Station.

Richard Piatt

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