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Letter: Ogden City budget lies a result of money mismanagement

May 13, 2024

In 1968 we purchased a new Camaro for $3,400. Today $3,400 would be a small down payment. The utility infrastructure in Ogden is older than the Camaro. It is unrealistic to expect this very old system to be replaced without new debt. The new $34 million loan is a necessary step to address the overlooked utility infrastructure. The Mayor has obtained very favorable terms. This represents another early run for him.

Unfortunately, the city persists with its policy of transferring money from these same impoverished utility funds to the highly bloated general fund. This year the amount is about $6.7 million. Put into perspective our property taxes are about $18 million. This $6.7 million would require a 40% increase in property taxes. If this occurred the budget hearings would be packed and all of the incumbents would be thrown out.

However, the city cleverly disguises the $6.7 million as a normal event based on something call taxes that they might have received. It doesn’t matter how they spin this transfer, the state recognizes it for what it is, an unsubstantiated subsidy for which the utility funds receive nothing in return. It is also a clever way to avoid raising property taxes and going through truth in taxation rules.

Here is my prediction, the subsidy continues and utility rates are increased. The city will cite new debt service and infrastructure needs. In reality $6.7 would pay a lot of debt service. It is time to stop this transfer and do some belt tightening in the general fund.

Lynn Wood

Ogden

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