Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Salt Lake City Council member Jill Remington Love, of district 5, smiles during Salt Lake City Council meeting at the City and County Building in Salt Lake City Dec. 4, 2007. Steve Griffin/The Salt Lake Tribune) 12/4/07
Salt Lake City poised to raise property taxes; Mayor Becker still opposed
City Council » Votes appear set despite Becker’s vow not to raise taxes this year.
First Published Jun 11 2013 06:39 pm • Last Updated Jun 12 2013 09:58 am

You can take it out of the bank: The Salt Lake City Council has five votes to raise an additional $7 million in property taxes.

The official vote is expected next week. The tax increase would be equivalent to $59.40 on a house valued at $250,000; and $432 on a business structure valued at $1 million.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Council members Tuesday cited crumbling roads, run-down parks and an aging vehicle fleet in signaling their intent to raise taxes despite a pledge by Mayor Ralph Becker that he would not do so this year.

The mayor reiterated his no-tax pledge again in a Salt Lake Tribune op-ed published Saturday. In it, he said he would take the upcoming year "to fully engage residents in thoughtful conversation" on revenue increases and service levels before raising taxes.

Becker has not raised property taxes during his 5 ½ years in office.

It takes four votes by the seven member council to pass any action, including a budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. In the case of a veto, however, the council needs five votes to override the mayor.

The tax discussion Tuesday went forward with that in mind. Councilmen Kyle LaMalfa, Soren Simonsen and Luke Garrott sought an $8 million tax increase. But Councilwoman Jill Remington Love would only go as high as $7 million. Councilman Charlie Luke also agreed to the $7 million increase.

Councilmen Stan Penfold and Carlton Christensen gave a thumb’s down to the $7 million proposal. Christensen said he would go along with a $3 million tax increase. But Penfold would not buy off on any tax increase.

The council is expected to pass the 2013-14 budget on June 18. Becker has 15 days to veto all or parts of it. The council then has until July 9 to override the mayor, if he were to exercise his veto power.

Love said the city had faced tough times beginning in 2009 and trimmed the capital improvements budget to make ends meet.

story continues below
story continues below

"I don’t want to send a signal to residents that we aren’t a well-run city because we are," she said. "But we have to raise taxes whether it’s this year or next year. There’s no getting around it."

About $4 million of the proposed $7 million increase would go to infrastructure maintenance. Just under $3 million would go to increased services the council identified in the general fund. The tax increase would boost the budget total to $220 million.

Simonsen said the council and its staff have had to work extra hard on this budget because the mayor did not provide a capital-maintenance analysis.

"I don’t see this as an extravagant tax increase," Simonsen said. "But it does allow us to move forward."


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.