Taylorsville • The City Council on Wednesday approved a fiscal 2013 budget that cuts costs through full membership in the Unified Police Department but also raises taxes by 15 percent to fund capital projects and maintain streetscapes.
The budget approval included membership in the Salt Lake Valley Fire District, which plans to put at least nine additional fire personnel and medical personnel and a new station in Taylorsville and rebuild an existing station.
The hike will increase taxes on an average home valued at $197,000 by $2.43 a month, bringing the total to $18.63 a month, or $223.56 a year. The current city property tax on a home of that price is now $16.20 a month, or $194.40 a year.
The budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 totals about $35 million, which includes $21.5 million in the general fund. The rest includes capital projects and debt service, among other budget items.
“We chose to become a city and now we have to support our city,“ Councilwoman Kristie Overson said in voting for a budget with a tax increase.
Council members Dama Barbour and Ernest Burgess also approved the tax increase, while Larry Johnson and Jerry Rechtenbach voted against it. The council approved joining UPD in a 4-1 vote, with Johnson dissenting.
The additional tax money of approximately $600,000 will be used for maintenance of streetscapes and to build a safety wall along 4100 South from Redwood Road to 1300 West, where cars have veered off the street into backyards.
The estimated savings in fiscal 2013 of joining UPD is more than $500,000 annually. The contract with the regional police force begins July 1, and the police officers now employed by Taylorsville would retain their positions.
By joining the fire district on Jan. 1, the city will have a one-time savings of $1.9 million when it ends its yearlong contract with the Unified Fire Authority (UFA) six months early. UFA will continue to provide firefighting services in the west-side suburb but the fire district will levy the property taxes to pay the agency and will own the stations and equipment.
After that one-time savings, property taxes are likely to increase in fall 2013 when the fire district first bills Taylorsville. District taxes currently are $18.30 a month on a $197,000 home; Taylorsville’s portion of property taxes will decrease because it no longer covers those fire costs but the amount of the drop will not be determined until the City Council sets the fiscal 2014 budget a year from now.