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Weber County commissioners OK 4.5% property tax hike

By Tim Vandenack - | Dec 14, 2021

Tim Vandenack, Standard-Examiner

From left, Weber County Commissioners Scott Jenkins, Jim Harvey and Gage Froerer oversee a hearing Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, on a proposed 4.5% hike in county property taxes.

OGDEN — Weber County commissioners approved a 4.5% property tax hike effective next year, citing the importance of the initiatives that would benefit from the increased revenue.

Commissioner Scott Jenkins zeroed in on the $1 million or so that would be generated each year for flood-control efforts.

“We’ve got to stay on top of this stuff. If we don’t, we’re not doing our jobs as commissioners,” he said. “We’re trying to be proactive, stay on top of things.”

Commissioner Gage Froerer noted the importance of the $1.16 million or so a year that would go to maintain the five Weber County Library System facilities, calling them “critical infrastructure of this county.” Likewise, he said funding for flood control is important to deal with now rather than waiting for major problems to emerge, potentially requiring a bigger tax increase.

The commissioners, including Jim Harvey, voted unanimously for the hike. The boost will generate around $2.16 million a year, bringing property tax collections for the county for 2022 to $53.3 million, up from $51.2 million, not including permitted increases brought on by new growth.

“Tax increases are never easy,” Froerer said. “They’re never something we enjoy doing.”

The increase will boost county property taxes on a home valued at $366,000 by a little less than $20, from $435.21 a year to $454.79.

Harvey, though, noted that commissioners in 2019 rebalanced the county’s property tax stream for 2020, reducing them slightly for the 94% of county property owners living in incorporated areas. Taxes went up in 2020 per that change for the 6% or so of Weber County property owners in unincorporated zones.

“I wanted that to be on the record,” he said.

The 4.5% boost is far less than the controversial boost of 20% or so commissioners approved in late 2016, which went into effect the next year. At a public hearing on the new increase last month, those speaking out expressed mixed sentiments. Some favored the increase because of the increased funding libraries would receive while others expressed reticence, skeptical of tax hikes in general.

The extra $1.16 million for libraries would be used for upkeep of the five Weber County Library System facilities. The $1 million for flood control would be used to aid with long-term efforts to upgrade the county’s systems, estimated to need $20 million to $30 million in improvements.

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