Hit by rising costs and declining revenues, Taylorsville administrators are proposing a 47 percent property-tax bump to cover road maintenance, public-safety increases and other expenses.
The proposed increase would add $112.08 a year to the city portion of a homeowner's tax bill, bringing that total to $345.58 on a $197,000 residence. Taylorsville's portion is about 16.5 percent of the total property-tax bill.
The operating budget for fiscal 2014, which begins July 1, is proposed to be nearly $24.3 million, a 4.2 percent increase over fiscal 2013. Of that amount, $2.3 million would come from the tax hike.
Mayor Jerry Rechtenbach and City Council members already have made cuts to the proposed budget. "There's no question [the proposed tax increase] will be less," the mayor said.
Taylorsville raised property taxes by 15 percent last year, which resulted in an additional $29.16 annually on a $197,000 home.
The fiscal 2014 budget proposal says street maintenance has been put off over the past few years to keep expenses low and says that upkeep can no longer be deferred without "tremendous" future cost. In addition, public-safety costs, which account for about half the budget, have increased, it says.
Several support positions in the police department, court and administration have been eliminated, but deeper workforce cuts would mean a reduction of services, the proposal says.
The tax increase also would help cover general operating expenses; Taylorsville has been using money from its savings account this fiscal year and wants those funds for future emergency expenses.
In neighboring West Valley City, the proposed operating budget is about $67.3 million, an approximate 2.4 percent increase from last year. Administrators say they are optimistic about the upcoming fiscal year, saying economic indicators continue to gain momentum, and no tax increase is being proposed.
Among the hopeful signs cited are a projected $20.5 million in sales tax in 2013-2014; new businesses that have come to the community, including an Embassy Suites at Fairbourne Station; and the creation of more than 2,000 new jobs.
The city plans to continue focusing on retaining and attracting new business and to increase the use of volunteers in West Valley.
The council has adopted a tentative budget; a hearing on the final budget will be held at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 13 at City Hall, 3600 S. Constitution Blvd. (2700 West). Visit http://bit.ly/10yfIUH to view the West Valley City budget.