Most people who live in Salt Lake County will have to pay more in property taxes because the County Council voted 6-3 this month to approve a $1.9 billion budget that raises library taxes for the first time in ten years.
You might be wondering what this means for you. We know what to do.
How Much More Will Taxpayers Have to Pay?
Council members agreed to an increase of about 25% in the line item of property taxes that pays for the county’s library system. The increase only affects that line item, not your tax bill.
What Does It Cost?
The average owner of a $560,000 house in Salt Lake County will pay about $30 more per year.
Who Will Pay the Tax in Salt Lake County?
Most people in the county will have to pay more. Salt Lake City and Murray residents will not have to pay the tax because their cities have their library systems that are not part of the county.
- Salt Lake County Approving an Increase in Property Taxes to Fund a Library System
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Why Did the County Want Higher Taxes?
Officials said they needed the money to keep giving library books and other resources to a county whose population has grown by 13% in the last ten years. The tax increase will help keep services at the same level and pay for building maintenance and system improvements.
Since the last time property taxes were raised for county libraries in Utah, the value of homes has gone up, but the state’s “truth-in-taxation” law has kept the amount of money coming in from taxes from increasing. The library system can’t meet all of its needs with its current money.
Why Won’t the County Add Money From the General Fund to the Library Budget?
The county can’t do this because it’s against the law. Library costs can only be paid with money from the library system line item on your property tax bill.
Why Doesn’t the Library System in the County Spend Less Money?
Officials say that the library system has already taken on more than 30% of the cost increases due to inflation. This has cut into the budget for building and system maintenance. The county has said that if building maintenance keeps getting put off, the library system will have to pay more in the future.
Will the Extra Money Pay for New Library Branches?
Not right away. The tax increase will help pay for maintenance on the 18 buildings that are already there. The Granite Branch in South Salt Lake is the most recent branch to open. It opened in July. When a branch has reached the end of its useful life and can’t be kept up well, the county will consider replacing it.