FRUIT HEIGHT -- Two more Davis cities are looking at the possibility of raising property taxes for fiscal year 2011-12 to provide basic services.
The Fruit Heights City Council is considering a 3 percent to 8 percent property tax increase in its upcoming budget to generate more dollars for daily operations, while Woods Cross city officials are considering a 34 percent tax increase to hire an additional police officer, officials say.
Syracuse and West Bountiful city leaders are also proposing property tax increases to generate revenue to service roads. Syracuse is proposing a 28 percent increase, while West Bountiful is proposing a 67 to 75 percent increase.
Davis School Board is also eyeing a roughly 7 percent tax increase that will generate $6 million for the school district to restore two instructional days and to cover the costs of increasing employee health care and retirement.
In the month of August those entities serious about tax increases will be hosting truth-in-taxation hearings.
But before Davis taxing entities reach that point, there is to be more discussion.
The Fruit Heights City Council will meet today at 7 p.m. to discuss raising property taxes to generate $30,000 to $40,000 in new revenue to operate the city, Fruit Heights Mayor Todd Stevenson said. The meeting will be at City Hall, 910 S. Mountain Road.
The Woods Cross City Council will meet today at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 1555 S. 800 West.
There, the council will discuss the county's proposed certified tax rate, Woods Cross City Administrator Gary Uresk said.
The city, at the request of residents wanting it to maintain its own police department versus consolidating with North Salt Lake Police, created a need to increase property taxes to hire an additional police officer and provide the officer with the necessary equipment, Uresk said.
"The dollar amount isn't big," Uresk said, adding that the percentage of increase appears high as a result of the city having such a low tax rate.
The proposed increase would cost the average homeowner, based on a $200,000 market-value home, about $25 more a year in taxes, Uresk said. The increase would generate roughly $138,000 a year in new revenue, he said.
Should a new police officer be hired, it would take Woods Cross Police from a department of 12 sworn officers to 13 sworn officers, Uresk said.
In June, the Woods Cross City Council hired Greg Butler, police chief of Montpelier, Idaho, as its new chief, effective the first week of July. Butler replaces retiring Woods Cross Police Chief Paul Howard, who has been with the department 45 years, the last 22 years as its chief.
Woods Cross has about 10,000 residents.
Stevenson said the Fruit Heights City Council is discussing the possibility of raising property taxes for the coming fiscal year. But the action is one he personally opposes, he said.
"We need to tighten our belts like everyone else," Stevenson said.
"My opinion is that we don't need to (raise taxes). But it is a council decision," he said.
The tax increase would ensure the city has enough money for daily operations, Stevenson said. At this time, he is uncertain what it would cost each homeowner in additional taxes, because the council is not that far along, he said. But any tax increase approved by the council would be minimal.
Fruit Heights has a small commercial tax base, giving it little sales tax revenues, Stevenson said, leaving the city to rely mainly on property tax revenues.
The city collects about $500,000 a year in property taxes and has an annual total budget of about $1.2 million, Stevenson said.
Fruit Heights has an estimated 5,500 residents, he said.
One alternative available to Fruit Heights is to increase its storm water utility fee, a city expense currently operating at a deficit, Stevenson said.