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SLC's gang of five

Published June 29, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Re "SLC Council overrides Becker's veto of $8M property tax hike" (Tribune, June 22):

Double-digit property tax increases should only be implemented when a municipality is in dire straits. But five members of the Salt Lake City Council seek to levy a 14 percent tax increase on city property owners.

Council Chairman Kyle LaMalfa and council members Luke Garrott, Jill Remington Love, Charlie Luke and Soren Simonsen were handed by the mayor a balanced budget with no property tax increase. But this gang of five took it upon themselves to raise revenue by $8 million.

If an increase is needed, it should be on a more common-sense level, in the range of 3-4 percent — not 14 percent. Property taxpayers are not the City Council's credit card for spurious expenditures.

A double-digit property tax increase is hurtful, regressive and unpalatable. It places an unnecessary and discriminatory burden on city property owners. It comes after the council this year instituted a lighting fee on property owners and after voters sanctioned a property tax increase to fund a new police headquarters.

Council members should have more vociferously publicized that they were considering a double-digit increase. Then their public meetings would have been better attended.

David B. Troester

Salt Lake City