Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon has proposed a $31 million property tax hike to balance the county budget. He unveiled his 2013 plan today, two months before retiring from his position. Corroon will pass the torch to newly elected Democrat Ben McAdams in January.
David Wilde is Chairman of the Salt Lake County Council. The Republican says he’s not thrilled about a tax increase, but it’s one of only two options the county has for keeping up with inflation, which has outpaced revenue.
“We can look at maybe finding some cuts in what the mayor has recommended and then we’ll have to decide if doing that still leaves us with a need for a tax increase or not," Wilde says. "We’ll just have to see.”
But the mayor painted a bleak picture for the county if it didn't raise taxes, including hundreds of layoffs, millions of dollars in unaddressed deferred maintenance and closed jail beds.
Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder says there is nowhere else to look for cuts in his department.
“We’re at the basement here," Winder says. "It’s okay to go below the basement but to say that there is still a bunch of floors on this house is naive.”
The Utah Taxpayers Association released a statement saying the mayor’s budget confirms the fears the organization expressed during the debate over Proposition 1, a parks and trails bond voters approved on Tuesday.
The impact of this tax increase on an average home will be about $64 per year.