SALT LAKE COUNTY — Your property taxes will go up next year if you live in Salt Lake County. Some of the money from the increase will go to help county libraries.
Tuesday night, mayors, state senators, and council members from all over the county spoke to the county council about how the new budget could help their towns.
Others were very against it and said they couldn’t pay for their taxes to go up. The 2023 fiscal budget was passed by a vote of six to three by the Salt Lake County Council.
People who go to the library say it’s more than just a place to get books and DVDs. There are computers, events for the community, and both online and in-person resources. Sheila Penrose said, “Oh, I come here at least four times a week.”
Peter Bromberg, the co-chair of the Utah Library Association Advocacy Committee, said, “I mean, this is how people move up and grow out of poverty for their families.”
Just like books, Bromberg said the budget was overdue. He said that Salt Lake County libraries’ budgets haven’t been raised in over ten years.
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“It’s a little extra money that pays for growth over the past 10 or 11 years that hasn’t been paid for by taxes,” he said. With the new budget, taxpayers would have to pay about 25% more for library money.
Miriam Peace said, “I think there are so many other things.” “What’s up with our roads? Have you recently tried to drive on our roads? It’s rough and full of big rocks.”
Trent Staggs, the mayor of Riverton City, said he didn’t like the increase on his Facebook page. He said that he doesn’t think it will help his city and that it’s not a “smart move” because library use is going down.
“Every hour, about 800 people come in, and every hour, they check out about 4,000 items. So some of those are physical books and some are digital resources “Sarah Neal from the county library said.
Overall, people who go to the library are excited about what could happen. “I think libraries are doing a great job. “I like that they do a lot of things,” said Penrose.
At a meeting on Tuesday, Jenny Wilson, the mayor of Salt Lake County, said that this increase was “necessary” because of inflation.