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Weber County property tax hike plans generate split response

By Tim Vandenack - | Nov 24, 2021
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Weber County commissioners, at the podium, listen to a speaker at a public hearing Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, on a proposed 4.5% hike in county property taxes. The commissioners are, from left, Scott Jenkins, Jim Harvey and Gage Froerer. The meeting was held at the Weber Center in Ogden.
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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.
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Around 100 people attend a public hearing Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, on a proposed 4.5% hike in Weber County property taxes. The meeting was held at the Weber Center in Ogden.
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Weber County commissioners, at the podium, listen to County Comptroller Scott Parke at a public hearing Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, on a proposed 4.5% hike in county property taxes. The commissioners are, from left, Scott Jenkins, Jim Harvey and Gage Froerer. The meeting was held at the Weber Center in Ogden.
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Weber County commissioners, at the podium, listen to a speaker at a public hearing Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, on a proposed 4.5% hike in county property taxes. The commissioners are, from left, Scott Jenkins, Jim Harvey and Gage Froerer. The meeting was held at the Weber Center in Ogden.

OGDEN — The people have spoken on Weber County’s proposed property tax hike and they’re split.

At a public hearing Tuesday on the proposed 4.5% increase, which would bring in an extra $2.1 million, 12 speakers expressed opposition or skepticism toward boosting taxes. Another eight expressed support for the hike while three others’ stances weren’t crystal clear.

Weber County commissioners held the truth-in-taxation hearing, required by state law because of the tax hike plans, as a precursor to formal action on the county’s proposed $249.4 million spending plan for 2022. A decision on the budget and tax hike, which would appear on next year’s property tax bills, is to come at the commissioners’ regular Dec. 14 meeting.

The increase, applicable only to Weber County government’s share of taxes, would generate around $1.1 million per year to aid with maintenance of the five Weber County Library System facilities and $1 million more a year for flood-control efforts. It would increase overall county property tax collections next year from around $51.2 million to $53.3 million, not including permitted increases due to new growth.

At the same time, it would 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.

Supporters lauded the importance of libraries and said the $20 a year or so hike was a worthwhile investment. Four of the five Weber County libraries were rebuilt or received major upgrades as part of a $45 million bond approved by voters in 2013 and the tax hike is meant to enable upkeep in the years to come and aid in recruitment of library personnel.

The county needs $20 million to $30 million in flood-control improvements, county officials estimate, and the $1 million per year tax boost is to help generate that money. “We just keep putting bandaids on things,” County Commissioner Scott Jenkins said.

Foes of the tax hike variously called on county commissioners to find funding alternatives and expressed worries that the increase, if approved, would be a precursor to additional tax hikes in years to come. With inflation on the rise, others expressed concern about the loss of money from their own pockets and charged that taxes never seem to stop going up and up.

Around 100 people attended the public hearing.

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