Commissioner seeks public input on potential tax increase
Dec 01, 2016 01:52AM
By Utah County Commissioner Greg Graves It has been an honor to serve as your commissioner the past two years. There are a lot of things happening in Utah County and we need to make sure that we are planning appropriately for the future. During this recent budget season, we have realized that the county has been accomplishing many great things. The question before us is to decide whether to continue on the current service level that we are at or whether or not we should cut some services. I am asking all citizens to weigh in on this over the next year. The county cannot continue its level of service on the current funds and would appear to need discussion on a slight tax increase - slight meaning $5 month on the average $300,000 home value. That would allow the county to function on its current level for the next 15 to 20 years without change to the rates. The county has not raised taxes since the mid '80s. Only cities and school districts have. The misconception in this is that growth takes care of the budget shortfalls. That is partially true; however, if taxes had an inflationary adjustment on them, then we would never need to raise taxes. Since the cost of living generally increase every year, so does the cost of government. We continue to scrutinize every dollar that we spend, it is just time that the people get more involved with the county government so that we can represent your opinions rather than just guessing. With the growth like it is, our staff has done a tremendous job of keeping up with recordings of deeds, plats, etc. In fact, our county website has 250,000 to 500,000 hits on the records website each day. That is just one small part of how growth is impacting your county government. The reasons for this discussion are simple. The inflation rate has increased more than 100 percent since the last rate change. Things are costing more, and that’s why we need to decide what type of government from the county that we as the people want to have. I am available for all residents to discuss this at any time you would like. We have continued to run this county on the principle of “we do more with less.” We are not looking to change that in any way. We are trying to continue with the great traditions of the past while giving the people the government that they want. I hope that you will take the opportunity to reach out to me and let me serve you the way you would like. Thanks again for the continued honor to serve you all. I can be reached at 801-851-8136.