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Salt Lake City residents can still sound off on tax hike

Published July 8, 2013 4:55 pm

The City Council adopted a budget, but property tax increase isn't official until Aug. 15.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Salt Lake City residents have another chance Tuesday to tell the City Council what they think of a proposed 13.8 percent property tax increase.

A public hearing is slated for 7 p.m. at City Hall, 451 S. State St., Room 315.

Although the council passed the $221 million 2013-14 budget June 18 that included an $8 million increase in property taxes, the budget still can be adjusted before an Aug. 15 "Truth in Taxation" hearing.

The council earmarked much of the tax increase for maintenance on streets and parks and other city amenities that has been deferred over past years.

Council Chairman Kyle LaMalfa said the upcoming public hearing will give residents a chance to tell the council where they would like the money spent.

"And if members of the public are against any tax increase, that's fair game, too," he said.

LaMalfa noted that critics have said the budget — along with the tax increase — was rushed through. But by Utah law the mayor must make his proposed budget available by May 1 and the council must adopt a budget by June 22.

"The process doesn't lend itself to the kind of [thorough] public process the public is clamoring for," LaMalfa said.

Councilwoman Jill Remington Love said it's possible that the council could change the tax increase.

"It would be unusual to adjust that. But it wouldn't be unheard of," she said. "It's fair to say that the rate is very much open to comment."

The council did hold public hearings before it increased tax rates, but few residents attended. That's among the reasons the council determined it would hold more hearings, although Remington Love conceded such hearings are unusual after the fact.

"I don't think this is just an exercise," she said. "It's genuine."

csmart@sltrib.com

Public hearing on SLC property tax increase

When • 7 p.m. July 9

Where • City Hall, 451 S. State St., Room 315.