Some area cities will be holding hearings this month on their plans to raise property taxes to cover the increased cost of public safety contracts with the Weber County Sheriff's Office.
The Weber County cities are part of a handful of Top of Utah communities that will be hosting truth-in-taxation hearings this week and next to capture tax revenue from new growth to pay for essential services.
The sheriff's office has increased its contracts with the Weber cities it serves to cover an increase in service calls resulting from population growth.
"(The contract increases are) bringing the cities in line with the services they receive," Weber County Sheriff Terry Thompson told the Standard-Examiner on Monday. "In their defense, (the cities) have been paying what they have been asked to pay."
The largest hike will be in Farr West, where the city is proposing a 165 percent property tax increase over last year to capture about $160,000 in new revenue to pay the new contract and to build a sidewalk along 1900 West for Wahlquist Junior High School students, officials said.
The hearing will be at 7 p.m. Aug. 15, at Farr West City Hall, 1896 N. 1800 West.
The increase will take the city's portion of the tax on a $223,000 residence from $32.62 to $86.84 next budget year, city officials said.
Huntsville will be raising its property taxes for the first time in 20 years, Town Clerk/Recorder Gail Ahlstrom said. Huntsville's hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. Aug. 15 at Town Hall, 7309 E. 200 South.
The town is proposing to increase property tax by 68 percent, Ahlstrom said. That will take what is paid on a $252,000 residence from $121.69 to $205.13 per year, she said.
Huntsville has 608 residents and little commercial business, Ahlstrom said, explaining the increase.
Plain City, Uintah and Hooper are proposing similar increases for similar reasons.
Uintah city, proposing to raise taxes by 77 percent, will hold its hearing at 7 p.m. today at City Hall, 2191 E. 6550 South.
On a $204,000 residence, the city tax would increase by $91.11 per year -- from $116.24 to $207.35, according to a public notice posted on the city's website.
The increase is projected to raise about $45,000 in new revenue.
Plain City will host its hearing at 7 p.m. Aug. 15 at City Hall, 4160 W. 2200 North. On a $200,000 residence, taxes will increase about 42 percent, from $44.66 to $64.13.
Hooper is also proposing a 36 percent property tax increase, City Recorder Judy Murray said. The hearing will be at 7 p.m. Aug. 15 at City Hall, 5580 W. 4600 South.
On a $220,00 residence, taxes would increase from $57.84 to $79.38, or $21.54 more per year, Murray said. The increase would capture $53,000 more in revenues to help pay the sheriff's contract.
But cities outside Weber County are not immune from needing to capture additional tax revenue.
West Point is hosting a truth-in-taxation hearing at 7 p.m. today at City Hall, 3200 W. 300 North, to consider a 6.7 percent property tax increase.
Residents can expect to see on average a $7.01 increase in their tax payment to the city, taking it from $104.20 to $111.21 on a $182,000 home, West Point City Manager Kyle Laws said.
The increase would generate about $23,000 in new revenue for the city.
"Every year, we have mandated increases for retirement for employee benefits. Those go up every year, and whether the city likes it, we have to pay it," Laws said.
The new revenue will also be used for street repairs, he said.
West Point has not had an increase to its general fund expenditures for several years, the last proposed tax increase coming five years ago, Laws said.
"It was proposed, but it didn't happen," he said.
Washington Terrace is also hosting a truth-in-taxation hearing tonight at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 5249 S. South Pointe Drive.
But the overall bottom line to residents will be a wash, where the city's proposed $14.14 property tax increase on a $142,000 residence will be offset by a reduction of the same amount by Weber County, Washington Terrace City Manager Tom Hanson said.
The city's proposed 5 percent increase is to recapture $48,000 in new revenues for road maintenance. Because the city is recapturing funds from a county reduction by law it had to advertise its effort as part of a truth-in-taxation hearing even though there is no increase to residents, Hanson said.