Provo Mayor Joe Jenkins is proposing an increase in property taxes in order to buy more books for the Provo City Library.
It's now up to the City Council to work out the details.Jenkins handed the council a $73.5 million tentative city budget for 1991-92, which is $4.7 million less than the budget expenditures for the current year.
The council will hold open budget meetings May 14 and 28 and a public hearing June 18 before adopting a final budget.
The budget proposal includes a request for a "very tentative" 2.2 percent property-tax increase to raise about $200,000 for new library books. The precise amount of the suggested increase will not be known until Utah County sets the certified tax rate next month.
Keith Haslem, city budget director, said property owners would pay about $8 more a year on an $80,000 home. The figure is about twice what the city calculated last month when the mayor first announced plans to request a tax increase for books.
Jenkins' proposed general fund, which operates mostly on sales and property tax revenues, totals about $20.6 million, an increase of 8.1 percent over this year because of money transfers from other city funds. The Police, Fire and Parks and Recreation departments are among those targeted for an increase.
"Financially, the city is in excellent shape," Jenkins said. The mayor attributed the fiscal fitness to economic growth and a citywide building boom. Also, the nationwide recession wasn't felt in Provo and sales-tax revenue continues to increase, he said.
The library-book fund previously has been made up of one-time money. For the past 10 years, the fund has averaged about $65,000 a year. Jenkins said it can no longer remain static and meet the needs of an increasing number of people using the library.
Last year, the city reduced property taxes by 9.8 percent. If the council approves this year's request, Jenkins said, it would amount to a net decrease of 7.6 percent over two years.
"We don't feel too badly about asking for some of that money to go into the library for the library-book budget," he said.
Jenkins also is seeking creation of a storm-water utility department, which also would cost citizens money. Under the proposal, residents would pay about $2.75 more a month for utilities to expand and maintain the city's storm-water drainage system.
The mayor's budget includes a 2 percent cost-of-living raise and a 3 percent one-time bonus for all city employees. Haslem said workers received the same raise last year.
The tentative budget also includes provisions for a number of capital projects, including phase two of the East Bay Golf Course,the Columbia Lane bridge and improvements at Footprinter Park and the South Fork campground.
- $8 more a year (on an $80,000 home) in property taxes to buy new library books.
- A $2.75-a-month increase in utility bills to expand and maintain the city's storm-water drainage system.
Police $5.7 million
Fire 3.8 million
Parks and recreation 3.3 million
Public works, streets 1.3 million
2 percent cost-of-living raise for city employees and 3 percent one-time bonus.