Some residents oppose proposed tax increase in Kaysville

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KAYSVILLE, Utah -- Get ready for some sticker shock if you live in Kaysville.

A tentative budget approved this week calls for a 102 percent property tax hike to the city-portion of your taxes.

Some residents claim the big hike is due to the city mismanaging money. Kaysville used to dip into money from its city-owned power company to help support its general fund.

Last year, voters passed Proposition 5, saying that's no longer allowed. A citizens group believes the city is mismanaging money and using Prop 5 to justify building a pricey police station.

"Council member Brett Garlick kept saying, 'Well if it wasn't for Prop 5 we could take this from the electric fund.' They were using it as a slush fund," claims resident  Margaret Brough.

Kaysville City officials admit they used to borrow money from the city-owned electric company to fund some developments, but they said it wasn't illegal and the cash was paid back.

"The evidence should certainly support the claims, and if you have the second lowest property tax rate in Davis County and your power rates are lower than Rocky Mountain Power, that doesn't speak to fiscal irresponsibility," Kaysville Mayor Steve Hiatt said.

Margaret Brough is with Kaysville Citizens for Responsible Government and said that since the city can no longer dip in electric funds to help pay for development, Kaysville homeowners will have to bear increased property taxes.

"The main reason is they're trying to increase our property taxes to pay for a city police station that was too big in 2010, it's still too big and the citizens voted it down," Brough said.

For a $250,000 home, Kaysville homeowners pay $137 to the city. Under a tentative budget approved this week, they would pay 102 percent more, roughly $277 per year.

But, the city insists that's still lower that other communities in Davis County, such as Farmington, Layton and Clearfield. Most of the money would pay for more police officers, fire fighters and the new police station, which cops said is necessary.

"It may have been defeated four years ago, but the need never went away," said Division Commander Paul Thompson. "In fact, it increased as we added man power. We have cramped space and have run out of space in some aspects and our ability to effectively do our job has gone out the window."

The mayor said Kaysville Citizens for Responsible Government doesn't represent everyone in this town and many are supportive of the police station. The tax increases have been tentatively approved but final approval of the budget isn’t expected until after August.

Meanwhile, lawyers for the citizens’ group hope Kaysville City will be more transparent and said they’re taking a closer look at numbers from the city’s electric fund.

5 comments

  • Brett Garlick

    Next time, if you’re going to allow someone to quote me, I would appreciate a chance to respond before you broadcast.

  • Bob

    Kick everybody, including council member Brett Garlick, that had anything to do with this tax increase out of office.

  • Paul

    Kaysville City is allowing high density neighborhoods to saturate our city. If they didn’t open the floodgates to new development Kaysille wouldn’t need additional police officers. I loved our quiet town with few cops. Now we’ll have young families mortgaged half-million dollar homes on tiny lots, moms having to work to pay for the McMansions, latch-key kids with no where to play, more traffic, and more cops giving us speeding tickets for 6mph over the limit so they can hit their quota. 2014 is the year Kaysville City died.

  • Jeannie

    Paul–it is my understanding that people have a right to develop their property.The city doesn’t go after people to develop property. If the development meets all the requirements of the Kaysville City General Plan, then how can the council deny them that right? You may not understand that these “high density” neighborhoods are the very same density as if they were large 1/2 acre lots. The subdivisions maintain open space such as parks, trails, etc. The number of lots in these subdivisions are the same as if they were 1/2 acre or 20,000 square foot lots. Many of the subdivisions with the larger lots were becoming eye sores with weeds because people couldn’t maintain such a big yard. The smaller yards make it much easier to look nice. And as far as young families with half-million dollar mortgages and working moms…that is their choice. No one is forcing any young couples to buy a home that far exceeds their income. It is a choice they make. If they are going to have a tax increase of a couple hundred dollars, perhaps they can scale back on the amount of money they spend on cars, eating out, recreation, clothing, etc. That’s what I have to do, and I’m not going to whine about it. This news story didn’t give the fact that it’s been over 20 years since Kaysivlle City has had a tax increase. Unfortunately, our city councils have been more concerned with the next election than taking care of the growing costs of running a city. It’s very easy to criticize people and events when you don’t have the whole story.

  • Paul

    nice argument. I guess you could spin an oil spill, war, or famine to sound positive. Fact is, micro-density neighborhoods in every area I’ve ever lived ended up having a negative impact on the community. Like rats in a cage, the more you squeeze in, the more they want to devour one another. Recipe for disaster unless your one of the few vested interests who benefit economically.

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