Taylorsville • The City Council here voted 4-1 Wednesday to approve a fiscal 2014 budget that includes a property tax hike of about 31.5 percent.
The increase will add approximately $73 a year to the city portion of a homeowner's tax bill, bringing that total to about $306 on a $197,000 residence. Taylorsville's portion is about 16.5 percent of the total property-tax bill.
Council members said the increase is needed to pay for public safety costs and road maintenance, among other expenses. City officials say that if repairs on some streets are put off any longer, they will deteriorate so much that it will cost three times as much to repair them next year. Councilman Larry Johnson cast the dissenting vote.
The operating budget for fiscal 2014, which begins July 1, is nearly $23.5 million.
Alan Anderson, president and CEO of ChamberWest, said before the vote that his organization supports the tax increase based on feedback from its Taylorsville members who have businesses in the community.
But most of the residents who spoke at a public hearing last week opposed the boost. Their suggestions included cutting back on city beautification projects and reconsidering economic development incentives.
Janice Auger Rasmussen, a former Taylorsville mayor, noted at the hearing that there are 19 more full-time employee positions at the city than when she left office in 2005. "Please look hard at what can be pared down with staff," she said.
This is the third tax increase since Taylorsville's incorporation in 1996. The first was in 2006 and the second was last year, when the council approved a 15 percent tax bump, which resulted in an additional $29.16 a year for a $197,000 home.
Taylorsville administrators originally proposed a 47 percent bump this year but council members whittled down the proposed budget to lessen the tax bite.