Your taxes will rise in this western town. How much more does it cost you?

The additional revenue will help defray rising labor costs and provide pay rises for West Valley City workers, particularly police officers.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) West Valley City homeowners should expect their taxes to rise this year.

If you own real estate in West Valley City, expect your tax bill to increase this year.

In a cycle that usually occurs every few years, the city plans to increase its property tax rate by 9%. This proposed hike would only apply to that portion of the city’s bill.

That’s about $60 more per year for an average $315,000 household.

“About every four years, on average, we find ourselves in a situation that causes us to come back and demand a property tax increase,” City Manager Wayne Pyle said. “And we’re back in that position.”

The move comes amid inflation and staff retention issues. The city says it needs $3.5 million to cover pay rises, particularly in the public safety area. The police department alone has seen a $6-$7 million increase in personnel costs over the past two years.

The city’s proposed spending plan foresees increases of about 5% to 7% for police officers, depending on the careers of the offices.

“I am very pleased that we can increase the salaries of our officers,” said first-year mayor Karen Lang. “I think civil servants have been lagging behind on the pay scale for quite a while. And I’m glad we can move that up for them because they’re doing a great job for our city.”

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) West Valley City Police Department shown in February. Officials are set to receive pay increases in the city’s proposed budget.

With rising gas prices, it’s also costing more for police cars to patrol neighborhoods and for crews to mow park lawns.

“Everything is justified [the] rising,” said Lang.

So far, Utah’s second-largest city has met rising costs from the additional property and sales taxes that new or expanding businesses bring when they locate within its borders, Pyle said, but those revenues aren’t keeping pace.

“All departments — including non-public safety — have received fairly significant wage and staff cost increases,” Pyle said. “We didn’t add positions; it was just the wage increases.”

Police have struggled to retain officers over the past 10 years, Pyle explained, particularly after the 2020 police brutality protests and last year’s creation of the Taylorsville Police Department, which prompted many officers to leave for better pay.

“Our [City] The Council also saw that we were at high risk of losing more officers again,” Pyle said. “That’s why I made the recommendation this year to pay our police so much more, otherwise we won’t be able to keep up.”

Storage issues not only affect the police, but also other professions, such as B. Border guards. There, too, costs have risen and workers have taken opportunities to earn more money elsewhere.

Other than that, he said not much has changed in the budget.

Last year, the city introduced a $3 monthly fee to upgrade streetlights.

The council approved an interim budget of $98.7 million in early May. It will sign off on the final spending plan on August 9 after public hearings on the proposed property tax increase.

“The final budget,” Pyle said, “seldom differs materially from the preliminary budget.”

Despite the planned tax increase, he considers the city to be a lean company

“We don’t have too many staff,” he said. “And that, combined with the economic power of the city, allows us to put together a really pretty effective and efficient budget every year.”

Alixel Cabrera is a Report for America Corps member and writes for The Salt Lake Tribune on the status of communities on the west side of the Salt Lake Valley. Your donation of our RFA grant helps her write stories like this; Please consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today by clicking here. Your taxes will rise in this western town. How much more does it cost you?

Joel McCord

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