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Farmington to consider 2% property tax hike
City's budget plan also calls for boost in building fees

FARMINGTON -- Flat sales tax receipts and increasing expenditures mean Farmington will have to raise property taxes and some other fees in the coming fiscal year, said Keith Johnson, the city's finance director.

The proposed 2 percent property tax increase and budget for 1999-2000 will be aired at a public hearing scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 16, at City Hall, 130 N. Main.The city's proposed budget for 1999-2000 is $8,566,301, only 0.8 percent more than the current fiscal year's budget of $8,495,093.

The tax increase would produce $100,000 for city coffers. A home with a market value of $150,000 would see its tax bill go from $850 to $867 a year.

The city is also proposing to raise building permit fees to generate an additional $5,000 in revenue and cemetery fees to boost revenues by $6,500.

"We're not getting enough sales taxes," Johnson said. "A few years ago we were getting increases of 8 to 10 percent, but now it's leveled off and our operating expenditures keep going up."

According to the Utah State Tax Commission, Farmington's sales tax receipts for the fourth quarter of 1998 were only 3 percent higher than the fourth quarter of 1997. Between the fourth quarter of 1996 and the fourth quarter of 1997, receipts increased by only 2.6 percent.

This year, the city is proposing to give its employees raises averaging 4 percent, but they will have to pay a little more for their insurance premiums. Only one new position, a part-time public works employee, will be created.

The largest project in 1999-2000 is proposed to be the reconstruction of streets, curbs, gutters, water and sewer lines and storm drains in Old Farmington, a $1.2 million endeavor that will be financed in part by area residents through a special improvement district. The Central Davis Sewer District will pay for some of the improvements and the city will pay for $762,000 of the total bill.

Elsewhere in Farmington, north U-272 is to receive a $690,665 sidewalk widening. A total of $126,000 is proposed to be spent on trails, including $84,000 for a new Farmington Creek Trail and $5,000 for planning a citywide bicycle trail.

Stayner Drive, Country Hills and Grass Valley streets are to receive asphalt overlays.

The budget proposes spending $143,609 to buy land and build a new public works shop facility and to buy land for a new public safety building. A new generator is to be purchased for $96,000, and $58,000 is proposed to go toward a new 800 megahertz communications system for police.

This year, significantly less will be spent on streets and parks, Johnson said.