Riverton residents could soon be paying their property taxes to a different entity.
The Riverton City Council voted Tuesday night to request annexation by the Unified Police Department taxing district. The move would save the city an estimated $600,000, savings the council plans to pass on to residents.
The city is proposing to eliminate city property taxes entirely, and reduce city fees such as garbage or street lighting. Under Mayor Bill Applegarth's current proposal, the owner of a $256,070 home Â the average cost for a home in Riverton would see their property taxes and fees drop by around $60 each year.
Businesses would have to pay more under the current proposal, a problem Councilman Al Leavitt believes needs to be addressed before the process is finalized. The city could adjust a fee, such as for storm water services, that affects homes and businesses to more evenly distribute the savings between businesses and residents.
"We can struggle with that [later]," Councilman Roy Tingey said of deciding which fees to reduce, "but I don't think we can forego the savings" offered by joining the taxing district.
The vote begins a process that will culminate Dec. 1, when the taxing district will vote on whether to admit Riverton, which it is expected to do. Until then, the city will hold public hearings on the issue, said Applegarth, with notices going to every property owner in the city. There will also be a public protest period, and the city can rescind its request at any time up until the taxing district votes.
Riverton is not alone in considering the UPD tax district as a way to save. The Herriman City Council plans to vote on whether to request annexation at a meeting Thursday. Allowing UPD to assess a property tax would allow the city to eliminate its $25-per-household-per-month public safety fee.
If the cities are approved for annexation, the new tax would begin Jan. 1, 2012.