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Property tax hike not the answer

The City Council is considering increasing our property taxes again, even though they just increased them last year. This increase would be to fund a 5% pay raise for the City’s employees. Being a government retiree myself, I support paying these employees competitively, so long as the City doesn’t break the taxpayers’ backs. Their work is important to us all. The question is whether all of the City’s services are more essential than our citizens’ ability to sustain ourselves.

Food for thought — Brigham City employees receive higher pay. Tremonton City employees receive a higher percentage of benefits, with 16 of the 30 highest paid employees here receiving benefits worth 71-94% of their salary. The one Brigham City employee with the highest benefits receives those worth 67% of their salary.

Tremonton City’s revenues have grown exponentially over the past 10-12 years, even during COVID. Sales and property tax revenues are more than 100% higher than they were in 2011-12. (The property tax revenues are up due greatly to the huge number of new homes, over 400 in the last year according to our City leadership, and with many more coming that will further increase the City’s revenues.) What the City needs to do is to look within. Use these big revenue increases for the absolutely essential things (police, fire, etc.); and reduce the less essential City services if their current revenue increases can’t fund them.

For some of our City leadership, they are wealthy enough that these property tax increases don’t impact their lifestyle. The question is, how much do they care about everyone else’s lifestyle? For us seniors who are not wealthy and are on a fixed income, increasing property taxes have a huge impact, driving some folks out of their homes. My retirement pay went up just over 1% in the past year. So, with inflation and another probable property tax increase, our lifestyle is being significantly impacted – downward.

Regretfully, an ever-increasing number of elected officials don’t care about the majority’s wishes anymore. They vote for what they want, building empires with ever-increasing taxes. The reason for this is because fewer people are supporting democracy today. Apathy is growing, as fewer people vote or get engaged in the government process. In the last election, only 22% of the eligible voters in Tremonton voted. At the recent City Council meeting, only 4 citizens were there to discuss the proposed property tax increase. Apathy is resulting in more autocratic leaderships, which is not good. Thus, I encourage you to support democracy. Come to the City Council meetings and let our leadership know what your opinions are; and vote for candidates who will actually support your opinions.

Jeff Hoedt

Tremonton

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