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SOME S.L. HOMEOWNERS TO RECEIVE SMALL TAX BREAKS

A few Salt Lake area homes within the boundaries served by the Metropolitan Water District of Salt Lake will see a small tax decrease this year.

The decrease wasn't planned by the district but results from a state-ordered adjustment in the district's certified property tax rate. The decrease will affect only those properties that are valued at the same level as last year. Properties that were revalued upwards will not get the reduction.The rate adjustment forced the district to reopen its 1991 budget Monday to reduce anticipated tax revenues by $112,127. The shortfall will be made up by dipping into district reserves to finish the remainder of the current budget year which ends Dec. 31.

The tax reduction would amount to about $2.35 on a house valued at $50,000.

Under Utah law, taxing districts are required to adjust their certified tax rate (formerly known as mill levy) annually to ensure that tax revenues, with the exception of new growth, do not exceed the previous year's collections. The law requires any district seeking a tax increase to follow specific procedures including advertisements in the newspapers complete with large black borders intended to attract reader attention.

The district's property tax levy is currently substantially below the level allowed by state law. Officials say the district does not have any plans at the present time to increase taxes even though the district is dipping into reserves for nearly $3.5 million to balance this year's budget.

At least one board member believes the district needs to review its current projections that will leave the tax rate unchanged for the next six to seven years. It was suggested the district consider boosting the tax rate gradually to replenish reserves before the district embarks on some major capital improvement projects included in the district's long range plans for later this decade.