Layton fire station

A rendering of the proposed new fire station in Layton, meant to address growth in the city. City officials seek a property tax to pay for the new structure and ongoing costs to operate it and the increase will be the focus of a truth-in-taxation hearing on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019.

LAYTON — A proposed 25% property tax hike meant to cover the cost of building a new fire station in Layton comes up for public debate on Thursday.

The city of Layton is holding a truth-in-taxation hearing on Thursday, as required by state law, to give city residents the chance to speak out on the proposed increase. It starts at 7 p.m. and will be held at the Layton City Municipal Building, 437 N. Wasatch Drive.

City leaders seek construction of the new $3.7 million fire station, the city’s fourth, in light of continuing growth. The station would be built on city-owned land in the 1400 block of North Valley View Drive near U.S. 89 on the east side of Layton, where the fire department call load is on the rise and where response times are lagging, according to Steve Garside, Layton’s deputy city attorney.

The tax increase would generate an extra $1.5 million to $1.7 million per year, estimates Garside. The city has already saved $2.5 million to be put toward construction, but additional funds are needed to cover the balance of building costs and for operational and staffing costs going forward. City leaders on Thursday are scheduled only to take public comments on the proposed tax increase. Adoption of the proposed 2020 budget containing the tax hike is tentatively set for Aug. 22 at 7 p.m.

The proposed hike would raise the city property taxes on a home valued at $310,000, the average in Layton, from $242.79 a year to $303.49, a 25% increase. It would be the first increase in taxes, above allowable hikes allowed by state law that are tied to growth, since at least 1987, according to state officials.

The last fire station in Layton was built in 1998.

Contact reporter Tim Vandenack at tvandenack@standard.net, follow him on Twitter at @timvandenack or like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/timvandenackreporter.

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