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Ogden, Harrisville, South Ogden, Weber SD to hold tax hearings

By Tim Vandenack - | Jul 29, 2022
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Ogden resident Joe Bauman addresses the Ogden City Council at a hearing on the city's proposed 2023 budget and tax hike on July 12, 2022. Another hearing is set for Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022.
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This notice from the Weber County Clerk/Auditor's Office website shows the planned truth-in-taxation hearing dates for entities proposing property tax hikes. They go from Aug. 2-23, 2022.

OGDEN — With several property tax hikes in the works, the last chance for many to speak up is fast approaching.

Leaders from Ogden, Harrisville and other locales have already had public meetings on proposed tax increases for 2023 as they craft their spending plans for the year, but final public hearings on the matter for those two cities are set for next week. Likewise, the formal truth-in-taxation hearings related to proposed increases in the Weber School District, South Ogden and the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District are also set.

First off, here are hearing dates, times and locations:

Ogden: 6 p.m. Tuesday at Ogden City Council chambers inside the municipal building, 2549 Washington Blvd.

Harrisville: 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Harrisville municipal building, 363 W. Independence Blvd.

South Ogden: 6 p.m. Tuesday at the South Ogden municipal building, 3950 S. Adams Ave.

Weber School District: 7 p.m. Wednesday at district headquarters, 5320 S. Adams Ave. Parkway, Washington Terrace.

Weber Basin Water Conservancy District: 6:30 p.m. Thursday at district offices, 315 E. 2550 North in Layton.

Now a few particulars on what’s going on:

Ogden: The original 2023 spending plan, focus of a hearing on July 12, calls for an 18.83% hike in property taxes to $19.3 million. That’s up from $15.8 million for 2022 and the $16.3 million the city would be able to collect for 2023 without a tax hike, factoring new property tax revenue brought on by growth.

Now the City Council is also mulling an alternative to boost taxes by just 16.82%, according to the information packet for next Tuesdays’ meeting. “The council stipulated that any adjustments to the budget could not impact employee salary and benefit increases which are a priority for the council,” the packet reads.

The increase aims to boost employee salaries and benefits and would also help hire additional workers, including five new police officers and six firefighters.

The proposed pay hikes behind the property tax hike amount to 14% for firefighters, 13% for general city employees and 8% for police. Elected officials were to get a 13% hike, per the original budget proposal, but now city officials are moving away from that. Instead, two pay proposals will be up for consideration with regard to the mayor and City Council members — a 4% pay hike or no pay hike.

The City Council approved a rule change on July 12 giving them leeway in setting their salary distinct from other workers, paving the way for the alternative pay proposals. Some officials were apparently uneasy with giving themselves 13% pay increases.

The Ogden increase as originally proposed, if approved, would raise city property taxes on a home worth $410,000, the median value, by $82.53, from $437.47 to $520.

Harrisville: Officials in the city are proposing a hike of as much as 166% in property taxes, from the $354,030 that would be allowable without a tax hearing to $941,570. It’d be the first tax hike in the city since 2013, if approved.

Growth in the city and the resulting increase in demands for city services figure in the proposed increase. “Now with nine proposed developments and a significant increase in households, both single-family and mixed-use developments, there is need for additional staffing and resources to maintain services through public safety, utilities, facilities, road maintenance and repair,” reads a website prepared by the city on the proposal.

If approved, taxes on a home worth $420,000, the median value in Harrisville, would go from $130.28 to $346.50.

South Ogden: The proposed hike in South Ogden would boost property tax collections for 2023 to $4.18 million, up $345,251 or 9% from the $3.83 million the city would otherwise be able to collect, according to data from the Weber County Clerk-Auditor’s office.

Mayor Russell Porter noted that modest tax hikes by city officials in recent years have precluded the need for a large hike, as proposed in some other locales. He said City Council members could even scale back the proposed hike.

“A lot of it’s just trying to keep up with inflation, especially the price of fuel,” he said.

The South Ogden increase, if fully implemented, would boost taxes on a home worth $451,000, the median value, from $547.94 to $597.30.

Weber School District: The district proposal as originally put forth calls for a 13.7% increase in taxes, from $70.15 million to $79.76 million.

The increase is meant to help boost pay of teachers and staff. The hike would increase taxes on a home worth $526,000, the median value, from $1,073.59 to $1,206.67, up $133.08. The Ogden School District is also proposing an increase to boost teachers’ pay and it will hold a hearing on Aug. 18.

Weber Basin Water Conservancy District: The water district, which operates in five Northern Utah counties, is proposing a total of $17 million in property tax collections across its coverage area, up from $10.6 million for 2022, an increase of around 60%.

The increased revenue is needed to help with continued bond payments to the feds for construction of the vast district water system in the 1950s and 1960s and for upgrade efforts, according to Scott Paxman, the district’s general manager.

“Hundreds of millions of dollars” in rehab work is needed across the system, and the upgrade work will “continue for a long time,” Paxman said.

In Weber County, the tax hike would boost taxes on a home worth $490,000, the median value, from $27.76 to $45.01, up $17.25.

The tax hike would be applicable to all property owners in Weber, Davis and Morgan counties, most property owners in Summit County and a smaller portion of Box Elder County property owners. Those are the five counties where the district operates.

Other entities proposing tax hikes in Weber County are North Ogden, Riverdale, Roy and the North View Fire District. Truth-in-taxation hearings for their proposed increases will be held later in August.


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