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Millcreek Journal

Murray City trims proposed tax hike: Time for taxpayers to chime in

Aug 10, 2023 02:37PM ● By Shaun Delliskave

While some may grumble that it is still a tax increase, at the June 27 City Council meeting, Murray City proposed a less-than-originally proposed tax hike. City revenue increased, causing the city to adjust its projections to 3.22%. Residents will now have a say on the proposed property tax hike at the Truth and Taxation meeting scheduled for Aug. 22.

Murray City Finance Director Brenda Moore told the council that the Salt Lake County Auditor had released the proposed tax values for the city, revealing a 5% growth in property value over the past year. 

“The proposed tax increase aims to strike a balance between generating necessary revenue and considering the impact on taxpayers,” Moore said.

Moore, grappling with the large numbers involved, explained that property values in Murray had grown by 5% during the previous year. The tax levy for the year before stood at .001513, while the proposed levy, with no increase, is .00167. The connection between property value growth and a decrease in the tax levy was highlighted as a reason for implementing the concept of “truth and taxation.”

Further details were provided regarding the library property tax. It was revealed that the library tax net levy now stands at .00331, a decrease compared to the previous year’s .00342. To ensure the library’s operations are adequately funded, the city plans to increase its revenue and Capitol Buildings expense by $39,000, allowing for necessary replacements and repairs. If no replacements are made, the funds will be allocated to the library’s reserves.

Moving on to the general fund property tax, the original budget increase was $545,000 or 5%. However, the new growth figures reached $193,740, marking the highest increase in recent years at 1.78%. In reporting to the county, the city requested a net revenue increase of $351,554 or 3.22%.

“We wanted 5% total revenue, which is in line with the 5% increase in property values. The general tax fund levy will remain at .001513, and there is no change to the tentative budget,” Moore said.

The average house in Murray, assessed at $520,800, can expect a $13 annual tax increase due to these adjustments. Breaking it down further, Moore said, “That’s approximately a little over a dollar a month.”

To provide clarity, Moore presented examples of the impact on businesses. For a business worth 1 million dollars, the proposed tax increase would amount to $48. It is important to note that this is not a fixed increase for all businesses but depends on their respective property values.

The proposed tax increase has been adjusted from the initial 5% to 3.22%. This adjustment aims to balance generating necessary revenue and considering the impact on taxpayers. Moore said, “The proposed tax increase of 3.22% ensures that we can continue providing essential services and maintaining the city’s infrastructure.”

Afterward, the city council also considered an ordinance amending the city’s fiscal year 2022-23 budget. It was clarified that this amendment was the last in a series of adjustments made throughout the year. In addition to the tax increase discussions, attention was drawn to the future relocation plans for the local museum. The official noted that $17,330 had been allocated from the general fund reserves for the specific purpose of the museum’s relocation. This allocation adheres to a previously identified contract that acknowledges the need for the museum to move from its current location at City Hall in the future. By accepting this contract, the city is committed to utilizing the funds for the intended purpose of the museum’s relocation.

A significant allocation from the power fund was mentioned during the budget discussion. It stated that $5 million would be transferred from reserves to cover a portion of the increased costs of purchasing power.

Murray Power will propose a rate hike to its customers in a separate upcoming meeting. λ