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COUNTY CUTS PROPERTY TAX RATE

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Salt Lake County property taxes are being reduced by the price of a hamburger, soft drink and fries.

The County Commission on Monday reduced property tax rates by $1 million, which amounts to about $3.40 for an owner of a $100,000 home. A robust economy was credited for an unexpected $3 million increase in property tax revenues.Along with the $1 million cut for taxpayers, about $2 million in unanticipated revenues will go to the Salt Lake County sheriff's office, according to Commissioner Randy Horiuchi, who said the money will pay for eight more deputies on the street and six new officers in county jails.

"It shows we're able to deliver top dollar on services to Salt Lake County," said Horiuchi, who is running for re-election.

The commissioner noted this is the second consecutive year in a row the commission has approved a property-tax decrease. Three years ago, the County Commission raised taxes, however, amounting to an approximate $12 annual increase on a $100,000 home.

The changes surfaced through the commission's annual midsummer adjustments to a budget adopted in December.

Other adjustments sparked by the windfall:

- Funding for expansion of the Northwest Multipurpose Center/Senior Citizens Center in Salt Lake City.

- About $300,000 earmarked to demolish a building at 2210 Murray-Holladay Road. The structure has been eyesore for more than a decade.

- Increased funding to prevent and clean up graffiti.

- More money for the juvenile court system.

Recent controversy over escalating property-tax assessments in the Holladay area won't affect changes to the budget because it is based on new growth, not past assessments. Commissioners say they're also saving money by streamlining tax collections.