ROY -- Residents will be paying more for city utilities, some as much as $9 per month starting in August, under the tentative budget adopted by the city council.
Because of those increases, the council decided not to increase property taxes.
Two main factors are combining to produce the utility increase.
First, both of the sewer districts that serve Roy have increased their rates because of improvements within the districts. The second part of the increase is coming from Roy itself after the city conducted a study of utility improvements that need to be made. The study showed failing infrastructure in several areas and said the city needs to start making those improvements.
Residents served by the Central Weber Sewer District will see the biggest increase, about $9 per month. Those residents are mostly east of 1900 West. The rest of the residents, served by North Davis Sewer District, will see an increase of about $3.50 per month.
This is the third year that rates have gone up 25 percent in the Weber district because of ongoing infrastructure improvements. North Davis users will see gradual increases in the next several years as infrastructure is improved in that district.
The city decided not to increase taxes to residents this year because of the utility rate increase. The council talked about not accepting the county's certified tax rate and conducting truth-in-taxation hearings this August, but in the end decided not to because of the utility rate increases residents will be paying.
During council discussion of the city's tentative budget, City Councilman Michael Stokes said he would like to see the council reject the county's tax rate in order to capture the extra property tax funds that would be generated after a truth-in-taxation hearing. He said that would not constitute a property tax increase for most city residents.
City Councilman Dave Tafoya said anything to do with raising taxes, or even the appearance of doing so, is not a good idea right now.
"This is not the right time ... our residents are taking a major hit with the utility increase. Some may see as much as $10 per month," he said. He noted that the infrastructure desperately needs to be rebuilt, so the increase is necessary.
Mayor Joe Ritchie advised the council to stick with only the utility rate increase.
"We do not want to do a truth-in-taxation hearing. We do not need a tax increase at this time," he said.
The council voted unanimously to adopt the tentative budget.
City Finance Director Cathy Spencer said residents wouldn't see the utility rate increase on their June 30 statements, but the increase would be on the August statements. Residents are billed every other month for utilities.