KAYSVILLE, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - The City of Kaysville is considering a 102% property tax increase. Tuesday night a public hearing was held to allow residents to weigh in on the proposal.
The room was packed and upset residents didn't mince words when they shared their displeasure over the city council's plans to raise property taxes and give raises to administrators.
Andrew Aguilar said, "I don't think there's a person on the administrative staff on the City of Kaysville that requires or deserves a more than $90,000 a year salary."
Another woman seconded that by saying simply, "I think you really need to take a look at your selfishness."
There are several issues at play here. First in 2010 Kaysville residents voted down a $4.5 million municipal bond to build a new police station, but this year, without citizen approval, the city took a $5.5 million revenue bond to pay for it. Construction on the new facility has already begun.
The Chief of Police Sol Oberg tells ABC 4 News it's a necessity in order to continue to serve the growing population. "The station that we're working out of right now is old, it's decrepit it really doesn't meet the needs or expectations of this community," explained Oberg.
There were some in Tuesday's meeting who welcomed the increase in security and the tax increase that comes with it.
Alan Wursten told the council, "I understand fully the need of you get what you pay for. I want to live in a first class city where I feel like my wife, my children, my grandchildren can feel safe."
But others questioned why the public's will wasn't followed and where the rest of the proposed 102% property tax increase will be used for. About 35% will go towards paying for the new police station and for four round-the-clock firefighters as well as two new police officers. Many citizens believe some of their property tax money will be used to pay for the proposed pay increases for several city administrators.
Kaysville resident Orwin Draney said, "They say that these raises will not come from the tax increase but from city money, how do you differentiate between the two When you say these raises do not cause any of the tax increases you must really think we're lacking intelligence."
For the average homeowner a 102% increase in the Kaysville portion of their property tax would mean a $140 a year increase; that boils down to about $12 a month.
Kaysville resident Sue Todd thinks even $12 a month is too much. "Well that doesn't seem like very much money but when you line that up and stack that up with everything that comes up, the increase in groceries, the increase in gas, the increase in utilities."
Many in the audience just want the city to do what they do at home. Long-time Kaysville resident "I want our city officials paid for a fair wage, what I would ask you to do is stay within your budget. Keep in mind that we have to."
A Truth in Taxation hearing on the proposed property tax increase will be held sometime in August.