Taylorsville • The City Council voted Wednesday to raise taxes by about $61 a year for the average homeowner, with the increase going toward public safety costs and road maintenance, among other expenses.
The vote was 4-1, with Councilman Larry Johnson dissenting. Voting in support of the increase were council members Dama Barbour, Ernest Burgess, Brad Christopherson and Kristie Overson.
Christopherson said he voted for the increase to help the city move forward through economic development efforts. And Burgess said the money is needed to entice businesses to locate in Taylorsville and for public safety and other services.
Johnson, though, said there are items in the budget that could be cut.
The bump — part of a $23.4 million fiscal 2014 operating budget — is a 29.3 percent increase on the city’s share of property taxes. (Taylorsville’s portion of the total tax bill is about 16.5 percent.)
The city used almost $1.7 million from its savings account last year for ongoing expenses, but no longer has enough money in the fund to continue that practice, said City Administrator John Inch Morgan.
Taxes on a $179,016 residence will increase from $207.16 a year to $268. A $179,016 business will pay $487.28, an almost $111 hike from the last fiscal year’s $376.65 tax. (Homes are taxed at 55 percent of their value; businesses are taxed at 100 percent.)
Most of the people who spoke at a truth-in-taxation hearing Wednesday opposed the hike.
“You are putting people out of their homes when you raise taxes,” Ella Manczuk said.
But Dan Fazzini, a Taylorsville planning commissioner, said the increase is needed to maintain a livable, safe community.
Taylorsville administrators originally proposed a 47 percent bump for fiscal 2014 but council members pared down the proposed budget to lessen the tax bite.
Council members had approved a budget with a tax increase in June, voting with the same 4-1 split. Under state law, they were required to hold a truth-in taxation hearing in August, then take a final vote on the tax rate increase.
This is the third tax increase since the city’s incorporation in 1996. The first was in 2006 and the second was last year, when the council approved a 15 percent tax bump.