Utah County Commission Approves $ 1.8 Million Budget Adjustment | Government and Politics
The Utah County commission on Wednesday voted to approve a $ 1.8 million budget adjustment in the latest move to reverse a 2019 property tax increase.
The adjustment, proposed by Commissioner Tom Sakievich, brings the county’s forecast 2021 sales tax revenue to $ 38.5 million, a 5.5% increase from the $ 36.5 million in revenue sales tax the county collected in 2020.
To offset the increase in sales tax revenue, the adjustment approved Wednesday decreases property tax revenue projections by $ 1.8 million.
The proposal is similar to one put forward by Sakievich last week which would have increased expected sales tax revenue by $ 1.5 million, or about 4%. The committee voted to postpone its discussion of the proposal because of concerns over Sakievich’s suggestion to also increase property tax revenues in line with the county’s rapid population growth, which Commissioner Amelia Powers Gardner said had already been taken into account in the 2021 budget.
“Going through the numbers, I realized that in fact we are much stronger than we thought,” Sakievich told his fellow commissioners on Wednesday. “We should… be looking at, at the very least, (at) about (a) 5.5% (increase) in our sales taxes.”
While Sakievich on Wednesday backed down on his proposal to increase the property tax revenue projections, he instead recommended that the county begin using the Utah County Registrar’s Office fees “to cover (a) some of the costs. expenses of county departments that support the registrar’s office, “rather than covering expenses using the county general fund.
Sakievich, who noted that using the recorder’s office fee to cover other expenses was something recommended by the state auditor’s office, said it would allow the county to “transfer a bit more $ 1 million from recorder fees to general fund for surveyor’s expenses and clerk’s office support.
Commissioner Bill Lee said that “it would probably take a little more discussion (…) before approving Sakievich’s recommendation to” make sure we cross our t’s and point our i’s in the proper way. “
“I don’t have a problem… looking at this, but I don’t think I could necessarily vote on this dollar figure that is here without going through this process,” the commissioner said.
The committee voted unanimously to approve an amended version of Sakievich’s proposal that did not include the recommendation to use the recorder’s office fees to cover other expenses.
“It looks like I’m painted in a corner here,” Sakievich said, adding that he spent time discussing the proposal with the Recorder’s Office but “didn’t get a detailed analysis” to break down the figure. million dollars he was offering.
Also on Wednesday, the committee held a working session to discuss a budget proposal put forward by Gardner that it said would cut taxes by around $ 1 million by cutting some non-ministerial funds and cutting the budget of the commission of approximately $ 60,000.
“If we, as a committee, if we are looking to reduce the budget and the tax rate, I am a firm believer that when you cut a budget, you should cut spending to go along with that budget,” Gardner said. “And I think we’ve lowered the tax rate somewhat this year, and I haven’t seen a single spending cut in this process. What I’ve seen is projections of increased revenue, what I’ve seen is reducing the amount we invest in things like investment projects, I’ve seen reducing the amount that we invest in the tight funds that we use for emergencies and I have also seen reduced amounts that we put into our fund balances.
Gardner added: “As I look to cut and cut spending, I think if we ask every department manager here in the county to tighten their belts and do more with less, I think it’s it is quite normal that we set an example in the committee. “
“There was a budget cut for the commission, but there was no follow-up for other departments,” he said.
The committee did not vote on Gardner’s proposal on Wednesday.
Connor Richards covers government, the environment and southern Utah County for the Daily Herald. He can be reached at email@example.com and 801-344-2599.