Tax increase slated for Taylorsville community

Residents of the Salt Lake County city of Taylorsville are currently concerned about a proposed tax increase next year when the city becomes a part of the Salt Lake Fire Service Area District. Residents looking at real estate in Salt Lake City and surrounding areas may experience a 50 percent decrease in property taxes as well.

On September 19, the city proposed a resolution that would make the increased taxes not as dramatic. The City Council approved a plan 3-2, that would lower property taxes by 50 percent. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the fire district tax plus the 50 percent tax cut would increase property taxes on a home that is priced at $197,000 by about $29 a month or $345 a year.

"The council wants to send a message to residents that this is what they can expect next year," Taylorsville City spokeswoman Aimee Newton said, according to the source.

City officials sent out letters to the community noting that if they do not join the fire district, it will end up costing residents $1.4 million more in taxes. The fire and emergency contract in Taylorsville is set to expire next year and will require funding through a tax increase. The city approved a 15 percent tax increase in June, and the council budgeted for a half-year contract with the United Fire Authority. If the city does not join the district, it will need to re-open the budget plan to allot for a $3.8 million UFA contract.

Some residents don’t believe there is a need for a new fire station and see no need to join the fire district, and some have formed a group that goes around collecting signatures on the issue. Residents are aiming for 2,500 signatures, and are required to get 10 percent of the number of people who voted in the city’s last governor’s election, according to state statute.

Mayor Russ Wall believes that it is necessary to either join the district or build another fire station. When the area became a city elected officials did not get another fire station and City Council believes it is necessary to build a third station. If the city becomes a part of the district, the station cost and personnel would be covered by the tax rate. If that does not happen, the city would be required to bond for a $3 million fire station.