Utah town proposes 102% property tax hike

KAYSVILLE, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - A proposal on the table in one Utah town could end up doubling property taxes. That proposal in Kaysville would increase property taxes by 102 percent.

City leaders say the tax hike is necessary to counter a ballot initiative last year, known as Prop 5.

In November, voters restricted Kaysville from using money from the city-owned power company for general fund expenses.

"There is no public process there, there is no transparency," Gregory Frank, a supporter of Prop 5 told ABC 4 Utah’s Kim Johnson last April. "What we're trying to do is keep Kaysville city from circumventing truth in taxation laws.”

But Mayor of Kaysville says the city is now forced to make up the revenue elsewhere.

“We have very few tools available to use to fund city operations,” said Mayor Steve Hiatt. “That was one innovative use to help keep our expenses down. When the proposition passed last fall we basically had to reassess.”

The tax increase would off-set the loss from the power company and pay for public safety, including the construction of a new police station and three new police officers.

“We want to be sensitive to the needs of our community and that becomes a difficult balance, to operate in a fiscally responsible manner and also provide services in a fiscally responsible manner,” said Hiatt.

Mayor Hiatt says it's only the second time in 25 years that a property tax hike has been proposed and wants residents to know only the city's portion of their tax bill will go up not the larger school district's chunk.

So for a $250,000 home, property owners would pay $140 dollars more each year.

The city council is scheduled to talk about the tax increase again on May 6. If they decide to go ahead with it there will be a chance for the public to weigh-in at a hearing later this summer.

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