Weber County commissioners had debated whether to pursue a property tax increase to build the proposed $ 30 million facility, which would have been the county’s sixth library. But they decided on Monday against the tax proposal, stalling the plans of the library.
“My answer is no. We have too many priorities,” said county commissioner Gage Froerer, who has spoken out categorically against further tax hikes.
The commissioners, however, reached a consensus to hold hearings later this year on two more proposals to increase property taxes – for services provided in unincorporated corners of the county and for flood control efforts. The proposed hike in the municipal services fund property tax, paid only by unincorporated Weber County landowners, would increase collections by up to about 50%, from about $ 700,000 per year to 1 , 05 million dollars.
The proposed increase in the county’s flood relief fund, paid for by landowners across the county, would increase collections by up to 100%, from about $ 1 million to $ 2 million.
Scott Parke, Weber County Comptroller, said the decision to go ahead with the truth in tax hearings on the two tax hike plans does not mean the increases will be implemented at the proposed level. . Officials could decide to increase taxes by a lower amount, possibly if anticipated sales tax revenues are greater than expected, or forgo increases altogether. But to comply with state guidelines, they had to make a decision on possible action so that the process of informing the public about tax plans could continue, according to the timeline set by the state.
More details on the proposed tax hikes would come by October 19. A hearing on the two tax hike plans will be tentatively held on November 23. Commissioners would then decide to implement the increases, which, if approved, would not take effect until 2022, when the increases would appear on the tax bills.
Regarding the library proposal, Commissioner Scott Jenkins said it might be more acceptable to build reserves in the county library fund and then go ahead with building a new library, perhaps for less than what was discussed with Farr West’s proposal. The county has recently paid off its debts and is reluctant to take on new debts.
The proposal for the Sixth Library called for a deposit of up to $ 30 million. A surety of this amount would have required a property tax increase large enough to generate about $ 3.5 million per year – $ 2 million to cover the annual costs of the sureties and $ 1.5 million to cover the costs. operational, according to county estimates.
Responding to the news, commissioners would not pursue a tax hike to pay for a new library, Lynnda Wangsgard, director of the Weber County Library System, noted that officials have to juggle many priorities. “We knew we were competing with them,” said.
Nonetheless, she welcomed the proposal that emerged over the summer from the Weber County Library Board of Trustees, working with county finance officials. She will watch the 2022 budgeting process unfold to see if there are any opportunities to somehow continue with the plans.
“We thought we had an opportunity with a very solid business plan to move forward and get the library up and running,” Wangsgard said.
The proposal called for a new facility serving growing Weber County that would have measured 48,000 square feet. He would have sat on land donated by the town of Farr West, an empty field along 2700 North, north of Wahlquist Junior High School.
As for the proposed hike in the city services fund, Jenkins stressed the need for additional workers to help maintain and manage the county’s roads. Raising flood control taxes would help cover the cost of approximately $ 10 million of proposed infrastructure improvements to guard against flooding.