OGDEN — Weber County authorities have approved a property tax hike effective for 2019 to boost funding to the entity that handles 911 emergency calls across the county.
The Weber Area Dispatch 911 and Emergency Services District sought the increase in part to help it build its reserves after largely depleting them with the recent installation of a software system used to help manage emergency calls. Moreover, the agency spent $5.2 million to expand its offices at the Francom Public Safety Center north of downtown Ogden, an upgrade that finished last year.
The tax hike will amount to $3.08 per year for the average Weber County homeowner, according to Tina Mathieu, executive director of the dispatch center. In all, it will generate an estimated $339,841 in new property tax revenue, bolstering expected 2019 collections to $4.06 million, up from an estimated $3.59 million for 2018. Property owners will see the increase on their 2019 bills next year.
The 911 center's Governing Authority Board, made up of the three Weber County commissioners, approved the increase last Wednesday after a public hearing on the proposal. Mathieu said Friday that the meeting drew a handful of people, some leery of new property taxes of any sort, others with questions, others understanding the need for the hike. All of those who spoke out recognized that the increase "was minimal," she said.
The 911 center's 2019 budget calls for $7.45 million in spending, up from $6.82 million in 2018.
The dispatch center, handling police, fire and other emergency calls, also gets a large portion of its revenue from the 911 telephone tax, an expected $2.38 million in 2019. It handles public safety calls in Weber and Morgan counties, with Morgan County paying for services via a contract.