Highland, Alpine facing tax increase to fund emergency services

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HIGHLAND — Residents in Highland and Alpine could soon see an increase in their taxes to offset costs with the loss of the contract to provide Cedar Hills EMS and Fire effective July 1.

In Highland, it would be a 36% increase to raise an additional $700,000 to fund both fire and police services.

The fire department will need additional money to keep operating at the same level for the roughly 20,000 Highland and 10,000 Alpine residents.

Now both the Highland and Alpine city councils are considering a public safety tax or fee.

“For the median home, it will be about $12.50 a month, but that would be looked at on an annual basis,” said Lone Peak Fire Department Chief Reed Thompson.

While higher taxes are never popular, the chief says citizens would still pay less than other nearby communities for public safety.

“It’s really providing one fire unit out of each community and then an ambulance that will be shared between cities and that’s largely due to a lower volume of calls in a bedroom community,” he said. “And as such, we feel like that’s a realistic approach to provide the same level of service that we’ve been currently providing to the three communities.”

Over the past few weeks, the city has held open houses so citizens can come in and better understand this proposal.

The city council is slated to take a vote in Highland on June 18. In Alpine, the city council is considering a proposal that will be discussed on June 25.

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Sam Penrod


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