The proposed West Jordan budget for the coming year includes major changes in property taxes and other fees, but the net increase to residents would be small, city officials say.
The proposal calls for elimination of the city's unpopular retail license fee, a .005 percent municipal sales tax. A monthly storm sewer fee of $4 per household would be reduced to $3.On the other side of the proposed budget's balance sheet, property taxes would be significantly increased approximately 85 percent and a 6 percent franchise tax, with caps for industrial users, would be added to natural gas, electric and telephone utilities.
For the owner of a $67,000 home, property taxes of $91.33 per year would increase to $169.20. When all of the changes are taken into consideration, overall municipal expenses per household would rise from $563.97 per year to $626.64, an increase of $5.22 per month, said City Manager Ron Olson.
All of the franchise tax revenues, about $1 million during the first 12 months the measure would be implemented, would be dedicated to capital improvements. The increased property tax and storm sewer fees would almost offset declining sales tax and other revenues, trimming the current $7 million general fund budget to $6.8 million next year.
Employees are to get a 3 percent pay raise and a 1.5 percent benefit increase, but three firefighters will lose their jobs, which will transfer all medical emergency response from the city to the private ambulance company that now serves West Jordan. Public Safety Director Kal Farr said the reduction would increase the response time to medical emergencies.
Positions for a part-time city prosecutor, one building inspector, one planner and a half-time secretary would also be eliminated.
The City Council is expected to vote on the tentative budget May 3, and a public hearing on the proposal has been set for June 14.