$85M Park Bond Goes To Vote In Salt Lake City; Tax increase to be decided later – KSL.com | Vette Leader

Members of the Salt Lake City City Council listen to public comments during a meeting at the Salt Lake City-County Building Tuesday. The council approved two bonds during the session, one of which residents will vote on in November. (Carter Williams, KSL.com)

Estimated reading time: 4-5 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Residents of Utah’s capital have final say on proposed $85 million general commitment to park improvements; However, the Salt Lake City Council is unwilling to make a decision on independent property tax increases.

Salt Lake City City Council members voted unanimously to include the general commitment bond at the November vote. If approved by voters, new funds will be generated to cover the modernization of several parks across the city, including $27 million for Glendale Regional Park at the site of the Raging Waters complex. Allen Park, the Fleet Block project, and other parking areas in all districts would also receive funding for improvements.

The bond would be repaid by an increase in property taxes beginning in 2024. While the council did not provide an update on the cost to Salt Lake City homeowners, the original $80 million proposal estimated the tax would increase by $31 for the median. cheap home.

The council also approved a $67.5 million sales tax bond that included improvements to various civic amenities and historic spaces such as the Fisher Mansion, Warm Springs Plunge, Salt Lake City Cemetery and Pioneer Park, and improvements to radio towers and 600 will cover north.

Unlike the General Commitment, this bond will not be put to the vote and the Council can opt to implement it at any time. The council is using money from sales taxes and property taxes to pay off the bond.

However, the council made no decision on a proposed property tax increase unrelated to either bond. This led to a mandatory tax meeting Tuesday night.

The city is seeking a 4.9% property tax hike, which Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall proposed earlier this year to help cover ongoing city services/expenses, library staff/expenses, and legal protections — all of it has increased due to higher demand.

Townsfolk were divided on the matter during the public comment session. Dave Alderman, the president of the Friends of the Salt Lake City Cemetery volunteer group, said he supports the city budget and proposed bonds, particularly with new funds to improve the cemetery’s aging roads.

“Keeping our taxes down puts a strain on the parks we all enjoy,” he said, explaining one downside of lower taxes.

But others didn’t see it that way, saying it could be a burden for renters and homeowners alike. John Gardner, a Salt Lake City real estate developer with three apartment complexes in the city, said he was “shocked” to realize his three properties would face a nearly $85,000 property tax hike.

He called it terrible timing because companies are also struggling against appreciation.

“It’s a huge burden on the economy,” he said. “It’s incomprehensible that a city and county would push through that kind of increase in a year. … I think the really sad part of this is that I have no choice but to pass this on to our tenants. We care about our tenants, we try to keep our rents reasonable (but) there’s a limit to what we can do.”

Matthew Crandall also spoke out against higher property taxes, saying the city’s rising cost of living has driven out so many who used to live in his Sugar House neighborhood.

“I no longer recognize my neighborhood. … And I face the dilemma of having to move because this proposed tax increase now makes my property taxes a little over two of my mortgage payments,” he said. “It might not mean anything to you, but it means a lot to me, and it’s very difficult for people like us who can’t just go up to our neighbors and say, ‘Hey, give me more money. Unfortunately I have to budget my money – unlike the city.”

The Utah capital is among dozens of companies targeting a property tax hike this year, according to the Utah Taxpayers Association. Inflation, new demands after the COVID-19 pandemic and salary increases are considered the top reasons why companies are looking for salary increases, according to association leaders.

The Salt Lake City Council agreed to continue discussing the property tax during a meeting scheduled for August 29 at 6:00 p.m. to decide the matter. Tuesday’s non-decision was expected as the point of the meeting was to gather feedback from local residents.

similar posts

The latest stories from Salt Lake County

Carter Williams is an award-winning reporter covering general news, nature, history and sports for KSL.com. He previously worked for the Deseret News. He is a Utah transplant next to Rochester, New York.

Other stories that might interest you

Leave a Comment