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Davis Journal

Several cities in Davis propose tax increases to better serve residents

Jul 20, 2023 09:51AM ● By Braden Nelsen

DAVIS COUNTY—The American people today are very familiar with taxes: income tax, sales tax, capital gains tax, payroll tax, and many more that support various government programs and institutions. There’s one specific tax, however, that has recently been called into question in Davis County, and around the state: property tax.

According to a release from the Utah Taxpayers Association, 78 tax entities around the state are planning to propose a tax increase this August, including nine entities in Davis County. At the time of going to print, these are only proposed increases, each with a scheduled hearing in August before they go into effect.

The data from the Utah Taxpayers Association reflects the increase on the average home value within each entity’s jurisdiction and is represented both by a percentage, as well as an actual dollar amount. In Davis County, these entities are Clinton, Farmington, Kaysville, West Bountiful, West Point, Woods Cross, Weber Basin Water Conservancy District, Central Weber Sewer Improvement District, and South Davis Metro Fire Service Area.

These proposed changes are not things entered into lightly, Mayor Brett Anderson of Farmington said. “The city is still growing, and with that, you need to grow the police department, you need to grow the fire department, along with other departments.” Anderson mentioned that there are people from all income levels in Farmington, and each was taken into consideration.

Wages, Anderson said, were one of the driving forces behind the decision. He spoke about the low staff in the Farmington police department, and the need to not only keep the officers they have but also entice others to join the force. But, raising the salary for one department creates a ripple effect for others which are just as important and necessary. 

Dean Storey, Financial Director for the city of Kaysville, echoed these sentiments, saying that, while a tax increase may not seem like it, the decision to propose such an increase was to “do what’s best for the residents.” Storey explained that for Kaysville at least, the reasoning had primarily to do with inflationary costs, the need to maintain capital investments like roads and government services and compensation for city employees.

Tax increases like these are nothing new. With constant fluctuation in house prices, interest rates, inflation, supply chain and more, cities often readjust tax rates to be able to continue to provide services, and upkeep in the city. Such is most certainly the case with each proposed increase. However, the proposals will still have to go through regular hearings before they can be approved. 

The schedule for the hearings, along with detailed information on each proposed increase, can be found in the chart in this edition.