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Taylorsville in line to join UPD

Published June 13, 2012 11:15 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Taylorsville • In a straw poll, a majority of City Council members on Wednesday voted to contract for all law-enforcement services from the Unified Police Department and to join the Salt Lake Valley Fire District — actions that would eliminate the need for a tax increase to cover shortfalls in the fiscal 2013 budget.

However, the increased fire services the city would receive as a district member, as well as a consensus of four council members that the city should pay as it goes for capital improvements, likely means that residents would eventually see a bump in taxes.

City administrators estimate the rise would add $11.82 a month, or $141.84 a year, to Taylorsville's assessment on a residence valued at $197,000, the average price of a home in the west-side suburb of 60,000. The current city property tax on a home of that price is now $16.97 a month, or $203.64 annually.

Taylorsville already belongs to the Unified Fire Authority, which provides firefighting services. The district is a funding mechanism for the UFA and has the authority to levy property taxes, which are used to build and maintain fire stations. If the city joins the district on Jan. 1, it would save $1.9 million this year because its UFA contract would end six months early.

In addition, the city — which already receives some services, including dispatching and records management, from UPD — would save about $500,000 a year if it contracts for all services from the regional police force. The 60 police officers now employed by Taylorsville would retain their positions under UPD.

Earlier this year, Mayor Russ Wall had recommended a total budget of about $22.3 million, which included the savings from his proposal that the city join UPD and a proposed tax increase of $6.48 a month, or $77.76 a year, on an average home to cover a $1.7 million shortfall.

Because council members met in a work session, no official vote was taken and members could change their minds before a June 20 regular meeting, when they are expected to approve a budget. Councilman Larry Johnson was the dissenter.