This is an increase of $26,209,860 or 14.5 per cent over the figure for last year – largest increase in the state’s history.
Summarized the taxpayers association: “The 40 school districts will use $126 million, or 61 per cent of the total $207.3 million charged. County government will take $41.7 million, or 20 per cent of the total. The 212 cities and towns will take $26.4 million, and special districts such as mosquito, library, and cemetery will collect and spend $13 million.”
The dramatic growth of local government taxes in the various categories since 1970 is shown by UTA analysts as follows:
Schools – From 97.7 million in 1970 to $126.1 million in 1975, an increase of 29 per cent.
Special districts – $6.7 million in 1970 to $13 million in 1975, a 94 per cent boost.
Cities and towns – $20.4 million in 1970 to $26.4 million in 1975, a rise of 29 per cent.
Counties – $29.1 million in 1970 to $41.7 million this year, a 43 per cent increase.
The composite totals of $154.1 million in 1970 and $207.3 million in 1970 indicate to a 35 per cent hike in the five-year period.
Jock Olson of the taxpayers association said $9.6 million of the total $26 million boost this your will be borne by Salt Lake County taxpayers. He blamed the county assessor and the “arbitrary” 25 per cent land value adjustment for most of this year’s Salt Lake County jump.UTA labeled the increase a $10 million taxpayer “ripoff” hidden under a “smokescreen of equalization.”
Be that as it may, the fact of the growing tax burden is clear – something of which taxpayers should be aware in Utah’s more than 212 cities and towns, 40 school districts, 29 counties and 139 special taxing districts.
All taxing units, of course, didn’t raise levies. Many trimmed the tax rate displaying exemplary economy. UTA reported that of the 40 school districts, 7 cut levies; 9 made no change; and 24 or 60 per cent increased. Eighteen out of 29 counties jumped lax levies; five held the line, and 6 cut their rates. Sixty-three of the 212 cities and towns cut 1975 tax rates; 122 made no change; and 27 ordered increases. Of special districts, 39 cut tax rates, 69 made no change, and 8 increased levies.
In most situations, particularly in this era of inflation, taxes cannot be cut without reducing services. Continual demands for more and more services can only increase the tax burden.
The Herald urges officials in local government across the state to concentrate on efficiency and economy and hold the line on tax rates. And to citizens who feel the weight of the tax burden, we suggest they make their wishes known, as appropriate, to those with the power to tax.