A year ago, Orem city taxpayers owed $10 million in principal and interest indebtedness. Six months ago, that amount increased to nearly $15 million in indebtedness.
After last week's budget session, that amount has increased to nearly $25 million. Orem citizens will be paying for this for the next 30 years.In addition, the City Council increased the city bureaucracy by 28 additional personnel - 15 new fire-fighters, six police officers, five librarians, one street signal specialist and one cement finisher.
Personnel salary and benefits make up a major portion of the budget. This amount increases each year, even without bloating the budget with new personnel hirings.
This City Council has five or six major building and financing projects going on at the same time. It appears that they have no control over credit spending with taxpayer money.
It is commendable that they did not make an immediate and direct property tax or franchise tax increase on the citizens. However, reason, responsibility and accountability to the taxpayers in bonded indebtedness practices need to find a place in this city administration soon.