Salt Lake Residents to Vote on Property Taxes

Salt Lake Residents to Vote on Property Taxes

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Residents will decide in November on whether to raise their property taxes for library and zoo renovations and the construction of a new sports complex.

City Council members voted 5-2 Tuesday night to put the bond vote on the ballot. The measure would raise $47.6 million renovate the old Main Library -- which has been replaced nearby by a large modern facility -- build two new branch libraries, improve the Hogle Zoo and Tracy Aviary, and build a new sports complex.

Councilwoman Jill Remington Love says the projects would make the city a "better place".

But dissenting council members say this isn't the type of project that should raise axes right now.

"A number of these projects really aren't ready to go", said Dale Lambert. "Are these really the things we would first raise taxes for ... at a time we are extremely challenged with our budget?"

If all the projects are voted in, businesses valued at $1 million will see a $239 tax increase.

Residents whose homes are valued at $175,000 will see a $23 property tax increase.

Supporters of the proposed baseball and soccer complex say it will be a moneymaker.

Paul C. Burke, president of the Utah Youth Soccer Association, told city council members that soccer and other sports "bridge every divide in our city."

"Today, the fields of our city serve as our melting pot."

The bond would need additional funds if the price tag is higher than the proposed bond. The city would look to supporters of the sports complex and supporters of the Old Main Library to help raise money to cover the balance.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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