Salt Lake County commissioners are debating whether to raise property taxes for the first time since 1985. The public will have a chance to voice opinions on the matter at a hearing on Friday, Dec. 7 at 5:30 p.m. in the Commission Chambers, 2001 S. State. Coincidentally, Friday was the final day for county property owners to pay their 1990 taxes. The Deseret News spoke to people as they left the Treasurer's Office after having paid and asked them how they feel about possibly paying more next year.
Don Ballard, Sandy"I've got to pay substantial taxes because I own more than one parcel. If I only had to pay for my primary residence I wouldn't mind. I would support a tax increase for essential services. My concern is if this is just being used as a political ploy.
"If I had a complaint it would be regarding the county appraising system. They're not able to keep up with market conditions."
Necia Christensen, W.V. City
"I was disappointed because my taxes were lowered this year. I have five children in the school system and I thought I should be paying a bigger share. I don't think it's fair for people to have large families and not pay a large chunk. We live on 4000 West. When the assessor came out he said the value would go down all down our street. Our taxes dropped by $115. I feel they ought to come and appraise our house again. I don't think it's fair. I feel the taxes go to the things that are important."
Jack Bingham, West Jordan
"I don't think taxes are fair. I live on a dirt road. I have to haul garbage to the top of the street. I have a well for water and a septic tank and I still have to pay the same top dollar as people who live in luxury. I liked it better when we (in West Jordan) were in the unincorporated county."
Jim Paras, Salt Lake City
"I think taxes are too high. The problem I have is that the education system is disproportionate. People with children should be paying more than those without. I would support a head tax. It (property taxes) is a big bite out of our budget. We have several rental properties and commercial properties. Rents will have to go up if taxes go up."
David Ward, Bennion
"I feel we pay more here than anywhere I've ever lived and we get less. I think the county ought to learn to do more with less. Everyone wants government to do more for them. I'd rather leave my porch light on than have the county put in street lights. There are a lot of things we can do rather than have others do it for us. I lived in Los Angeles. We got more there for the taxes we paid. Here we could have our cake and eat it, too, if we didn't waste so much."
Arlene Penttila, Salt Lake City
"I'm really not happy with it (the proposed tax hike). I think there are better ways of collecting taxes. I feel we really should have something like a flat tax rate, say 5 or 6 percent that comes out of every person's paycheck. I've got mixed feelings about property taxes. How do you compare one person's property to another? Also, I think they should let the new elected officials decide if we should have a tax increase."