It looks as if Provo's property taxes will stay the same for another year, thanks to a significant amount of economic development in the city.
In his tentative annual budget for the 1989-1990 fiscal year, Mayor Joe Jenkins told council members Tuesday that Provo is in "very good fiscal health" and is able to fund an increased budget through increased revenue.Jenkins has proposed a 9.1 percent budget increase over the current year's budget but said a 25 percent increase in sales tax revenue from economic development justifies the increase.
"We are very pleased. Our financial health will help us accomplish the things we haven't been able to do for the past few years," he said. "We feel like we have a bright future and we can see that in the attitudes of Provo citizens. I submit this budget to you and feel that it is frugal yet meets our needs."
A 13.5 percent increase, or $2.4 million has been proposed for the city's general fund. Most of that increase is due to Provo's debt service for road bonds and new library costs. Without the debt service, the increase is only The city has built up some reserve funds in the past few years and will continue to do so under the proposed budget, Jenkins said.
The vehicle replacement fund would get $100,000, so that "when vehicles reach their life expectancy, there will be funds available and we won't have to go searching. Vehicles are the first to suffer when budgets are tight."
About $200,000 would be set aside for the city's insurance fund. That money would go toward becoming a self-insured city, which in turn will save Provo money on premiums.
The city's capital improvement fund would get a major boost under Jenkins' proposal. A little more than $230,000 would go toward upgrading the emergency dispatch system, the airport taxiways would get an additional $17,000 for improvements, $722,000 would go toward streets, curbs and gutters and beautification of University Parkway and $270,000 (interest from the city sanitation fund) would go toward building the city landfill.
The energy fund would get $3.5 million for power plant improvements and $1 million would go to the water fund to upgrade city water lines. The wastewater treatment plant would get $980,000 used to eliminate the smell that accompanies sewage treatment.
"We are excited about the budget and the future of Provo," Jenkins said.
Councilman Ron Last commended that mayor and said, "I'm glad you haven't come back and asked us to raise property taxes. We vowed to generate the funds from other areas and we have kept our promise not to raise taxes."
Council members will spend the next four to six weeks analyzing and developing a final budget.