Weber Basin Water Conservancy District seeks second tax hike in a row
Officials in the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District, the water supplier serving five Northern Utah counties, are seeking a 29.9% property tax hike, faced with millions of dollars in upgrades to aging infrastructure.
The proposed increase for 2023 to $22.92 million in collections in the five counties where it operates, presuming 100% are paid, represents a 34.7% increase from 2022 collections of $17.02 million and a 126.9% increase from 2021 collections of $10.1 million. Weber Basin officials approved a property tax increase last year to bolster revenue, also in part to cover the costs of upgrading old infrastructure initially installed by federal officials.
“Much of the federal infrastructure is coming to its engineered life and Weber Basin is responsible for the ongoing operations, maintenance, repair and replacement of those facilities,” said Jon Parry, the Weber Basin assistant general manager. Upgrading much of the aging infrastructure, he added, would require “multimillion-dollar projects which span several years.”
Taxes to Weber Basin, which is based in Layton, are paid by 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. In Weber County, the proposed 2023 increase — focus of an Aug. 28 public hearing — would boost the taxes on a $486,000 home, the average, to $53.46, up from $41.16 without a hike.
Before 2022, the last property tax hike approved by Weber Basin officials came in 2007.
SEWER DISTRICT TAX HIKE PLANS
Meantime, the Central Weber Sewer Improvement District, which treats sewer water for most of Weber County, is also proposing a property tax hike for 2023. The entity, which is based in Marriott-Slaterville, also serves a much smaller section of Davis County.
All together, the proposed increase calls for $11.78 million in property tax collections, up from the $10.42 million collected in 2022 and the $10.84 million the entity would be able to collect for 2023 without a tax hike. A public hearing on the issue is set for Aug. 14.
The proposed increase represents a 13.1% hike over 2022 collections and an 8.7% hike over what the sewer district would get with the certified tax rate, without an increase. The tax bill for the owner of a home worth $477,000, the average in the portion of Weber County the district serves, would be $137.21, up from the $126.19 total without the hike.
Kevin Hall, the sewer district general manager, attributed to proposed increase to the chemicals used at its facilities to treat sewage water. “The primary reason is inflation in operating costs,” he said. Sewer district officials approved a tax hike in late 2021.
Some 213,000 people live in the sewer district coverage area, most in Weber County. The entity serves most of the Weber County cities, with the exception of Plain City, which has its own treatment system. It also doesn’t serve the Ogden Valley area and other homes in unincorporated areas of the county with septic systems.
The Central Weber Sewer Improvement District hearing on its proposed tax hike is set for 6 p.m. Aug. 14 at its offices at 2618 W. Pioneer Road in Marriott-Slaterville.
The Weber Basin Water Conservancy District hearing on its proposed tax hike is set for 6:30 p.m. Aug. 28 at its Layton offices at 2837 E. Highway 193.