Residents in six Davis County cities can attend Truth-in-Taxation hearings in August due to increases in property tax rates.

Clearfield, West Point, Syracuse, Kaysville and Fruit Heights, as well as the Central Weber Sewer Improvement District, which serves South Weber residents, are planning tax increases.

Some of the increases stem from projects, while others are needed to make up lost revenue.

Clearfield and West Point residents are expected to see an increase in tax owed to their cities, while a proportional decrease is made in the tax they owe to the North Davis Fire District.

Clearfield city manager Chris Hillman said that once the fire district was created as a taxing entity, it began receiving money from state-distributed fee-in-lieu funds.

At the time, no one realized the fire district would receive that money, which amounted to $195,000 a year from Clearfield and West Point residents, whom the fire district serves.

Clearfield lost out on $150,000 and West Point lost out on $45,000.

So the three entities have agreed that Clearfield and West Point could raise their tax rate by enough to cover the decreased revenue, while the fire district would lower its rate so the total revenue would be a wash for residents, Hillman said.

"We're simply recouping what we gave up," said West Point interim city manager Tom Hanson.

The Clearfield City Council is also expected to debate a slight increase in the tax rate that would net the city $2.85 per year on the average home valued at $161,000.

But that's the worst-case scenario, Hillman said.

In Kaysville, the City Council will decide whether to impose a 5 percent tax increase to raise about $55,000 to help with operating expenses.

"We're seeing increased costs of fuel and a lot of operating costs," said finance director Dean Storey.

Fuel costs were up $100,000 over fiscal 2006, he said.

The tax increase, if approved, would be $6.34 on a home valued at $288,000.

Fruit Heights also plans to add to its general fund to accomplish some road projects and improve some of the city's parks, said city manager Brandon Green.

"The increase of fuel and such is kind of hitting us in the pocketbook," he said. "We frankly don't have enough money to do the projects we need to do."

The Fruit Heights City Council is proposing an increase that would generate $20.13 on a home valued at $305,000 to generate about $68,000 in revenue.

In Syracuse, the city council is proposing to maintain the same tax rate as 2007, said Syracuse city manager Rodger Worthen, to raise $180,000 to fund road maintenance and repairs.

It's technically a tax increase, because in Utah, cities are supposed to collect the same amount of revenue from property taxes each year plus new growth.

So if values go up, the tax rate drops to equalize the tax burden.

The Central Weber Sewer Improvement District is contemplating a tax increase for all residents it serves in Weber and Davis counties.

It expects to raise $2.5 million with a $32 annual increase on the average home valued at $180,000 to build a parallel treatment plant next to the current plant, which was built in 1957, said general manager Lance Wood.

Requirements from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state of Utah have become more stringent over time, so that the only way to comply is to build a new plant, Wood said.

The new plant will use part of the existing plant in its operations, he said.


E-mail: jdougherty@desnews.com