Comments about ‘Letter: Millcreek fiscal analysis’

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Published: Tuesday, Oct. 23 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Farmintown
Salt Lake City, Utah

So the pro-incorporaters can get the best of all worlds, a legal Feasibility Study that doesn't exceed the 105% requirement and a second 'controlled' (in that if the numbers didn't go your way you never have to reveal it) fiscal analysis of a couple of quarters gains after coming off the bottom of a recessive period (even though the levels don't come close to the pre-recessive period). Also you can jumble all the cumulative numbers of high growth areas (like Riverton and West Jordon) of the whole County and make a beautiful conclusion. It is never a time to experiment in government and completely unnecessary too. Funny thing how when the incorporaters could have received a paid legal updated analysis they choose the controlled method. Yes it might have delayed a vote until another election, but that too is an issue, whenever someone says you have this "limited time offer" on anything I know it is likely a scam. Gary thanks for bringing this up.

slamar
Salt Lake City, UT

Completely agree, Gary. I'm simply do not have any faith in the projected numbers the pro-incorp group has used. Consistently they have incorrectly analyzed the tax burden, even to the point of a public reprimand by Mayor Corroon and council member Jani Iwamoto that it wasn't an "apples to apples" comparison.

I am also very concerned about the $7M they will need to complete the 2300 East Improvement project. What will be the source of this money? Currently this is a county project. But if Millcreek incorporates, the burden shifts to the new city as the new owner of the project. The new city would be "responsible for the construction phase, including securing local match funds for this federally funded project and right-of-way acquisition process. If the new city chooses not to proceed, the project funds spent on the design will need to be reimbursed to the federal government." [See 2300eaststudy dotcom] $7M is the amount in federal funds, and $2M in state funds. [Jan 2012 Fact Sheet]

Phranc
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

why create more government when we have already seen the poor results of other "cities that have made this same mistake.

Skyline77
Salt Lake , UT

Incorporation laws have changed over the years. 105% is the latest best effort by the Legislature. Taylorsville incorporated with 116% or more, prior to the latest law.

Fesibility studies are a best guess (or not). The whole purpose of the 105% rule was to prevent left over parts of unicorporated county from being significantly impacted by the tax void left when areas incorporated and then kept their tax dollars home.

Millcreek is the last plumb on the tree. Currently Millcreek is the last viable area to become its own city. The Mayor and Iwamoto wanted you to believe that the County's tax rate - without UFA or UPD included, would be a more appropriate "apple to apple" comparison. What a bait and switch. Fire and Police are municipal services and must be included to be an apple to apple comparison.

Using tax rates and fees imposed by neighboring cities vs "County" services shows that Millcreek is charged $4,000,000 more than what the other cities property tax rates and fees would charge. Obviously the county doesn't want the last plumb to fall from the tree, but the citizens of Millcreek should receive services equal to their burden.

StateTheFacts
SAlt Lake City, UT

Mr. Blake -- your comments and position is clear and concise, thank you for presenting this fact. Now that we know the pro-group waived a right to have a county-paid independent update is a significant error of judgement on their part. It speaks to their lack of integrity -- a liitle to fast with numbers. Skyline77, I believe you have it backwards-- the misleading "blue-card" did not include the police and fire costs; read the fine print on your false and mis-leading ad. Citizens, especially those on 2300 East as stated by slamar should really understand what is at risk--I see no reason to expirement and risk our community--losing funding for this project is a disaster; how much will this new city have to pay-back to the county, state and federal government?

Farmintown
Salt Lake City, Utah

Look at the property tax bill or cost for a property in Millcreek and an equal property in Cottonwood Heights, comparing the municipal charges between the two would give you strange results as the Unincorporated County is way down this year due to the legislature requiring the UPD Service districts as separate line items on the tax assessment. Say you have a home that has an assessed value of $396,700 for the 2012 tax year, the County Municipal charges would be $15.87 and in Cottonwood Heights $579.18, really doesn't compare fairly. Now take the holistic approach of the total tax assessment. The $396,700 property in Cottonwood Heights would be $3582.60 and in Millcreek $3407.65. Bottom line in spite of the changes in UPD fees, it is, in total less expensive property tax wise to live in UNINCORPORATED MILLCREEK for the same assessed value than in Cottonwood Heights. All other cities do charge franchise taxes and while Cottonwood Heights hasn’t so far they have lived off numerous government grants, read more taxpayers money, so more hidden costs. Cities with higher retail tax base (Murray) or lesser services (Holladay) are lower.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Momma always told me that if it looked like a rat and smelled like a rat it probably was!

Well...

This whole incorporation nonsense stinks!

No matter how these pro-incorporation folks spin, buy off, describe incorporation it always ends up stinking!

Just vote NO.

Counter Intelligence
Salt Lake City, UT

For the last 100 years Salt Lake County was the only county in the state that allowed significant urban development outside of city boundaries.
In the 1970's; an effort to consolidate Salt Lake City and County, in order to reduce government size, was rejected in favor of the idea of wall-to-wall cities.
Other cities in salt Lake County have incorporated to that end.
Millcreek, Kearns and Magna are the final holdouts.

If Millcreek does not incorporate - they should annex to Holladay, Salt Lake or South Salt Lake

The dysfunctional collection of special service areas should not continue and the rest of Salt Lake county is being shortchanges by being forced to be Millcreek's local government instead of the regional government it is supposed to be.

my2centsworth
salt lake, UT

So is the point of this letter to complain that a new City of Millcreek would have too much revenue? WOW! I think I better rethink the issue. I never really considered it from the stand-point that my property taxes as a resident of Millcreek would go down!
I wonder if there is any truth, then, to the claims that the Millcreek tax base supports other unincorporated areas. I heard one of the SL County Mayoral candidates (don't recall which) talk about the conjecture that the county's citizens would have to step up to 'assist the other unincorporated areas while they decide their futures' if Millcreek incorporation is successful. As a resident of Millcreek, that sounds more reasonable than my area being the sole line of support.
Seems to me that a government of my neighbors would serve my area well. At least as well as what no local representation has been able to afford. And now, if the tax cost turns out to be in the residents favor, as this author argues, I think a 'yes' vote should be carefully considered as the best option for all who reside in Millcreek Township.

Skyline77
Salt Lake , UT

Farmingtown analysis of property taxes is not fair or accurate. Looking at a total property tax billing includes many various levels of governmental entities. Different services charge for different things. School Districts are different, Cottonwood Rec center was created in 1968 to provide recreational facilities that the county would not provide. This was long before Cottonwood Heights became a city 8 years ago. If you look at just municipal services, including police and fire etc, Cottonwood Heights is only paying 64% of what the unicorporated county is paying for the same (apples to apples) services. I hope the rest of my neighbors in Millcreek have a better understanding of the facts. Voting for Millcreek City is the right choice if you want lower taxes. Many opponents don't really understand the facts and are selling themselfs down the river to higher taxes and less responsive government. I vote YES.

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