A clerical error led the Salt Lake County Council to delay a vote last night to approve next years budget. They'll instead address the issue tonight But the council did make time for one last round of public comment on the budget, which includes a 16.2 percent property tax increase.
During a public hearing on Tuesday, the council heard only passionate testimonies of disapproval for the increase, which amounts to an additional $59 a year for the average home owner. Last night was no different. Councilman Steve DeBry addressed members of the public.
“This issue, the gravity of it is immense,"DeBry said. "And everybody on the council has struggled with this and we have studied this and we don't take this lightly when we have to address taxpayer dollars to run government.”
The council did get some support last night from a handful of Salt Lake County residents like Christopher Lee who said they appreciate the increase. He asked the disapproving crowd that spoke before him to think about a community without art, libraries and recreation centers.
“It's not the kind of world that I want to bring my little ten month old daughter into," Lee said. "I want her to see all the beauty that's in this world. And the way children will see the beauty in this world is by having opportunities to engage in these beautiful wonderful things that our community supports.”
Council members say there will likely be no change to the final budget, but they will continue taking written comments from the public until the final vote tonight at 7 pm.