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Southern Utah News Front Page: July 23, 2014
Kanab City taxes
By Mayor Robert Houston
On June 10, 2014, Kanab City Council adopted the 2014/2015 budget. To insure that we meet our goal of balancing the budget this upcoming fiscal year, we used conservative estimates of revenue sources, while applying detailed analyses of all anticipated expenses.
Some of the highlights of this budget include:
•Kanab City Airport received a $330,000 FAA and Utah State grant to put a security fence around the airport perimeter. This project will break ground during the month of August.
•Kanab City’s fund balance increased by $70,000 over last year’s ending fund balance.
•Kanab City’s Public Safety Department (Police, Fire, Animal Control, and Justice Court) has a combined reduction of approximately $100,000 in budgeted operating expenses.
Kanab City property taxes will be reduced because the final payment on the general obligation bond for the Kanab City Firehouse was made last year. The guarantee on this bond was an obligated portion of the Kanab City property tax. Now that this bond is paid off, the obligated portion of the Kanab City property tax will automatically reduce your property taxes. This amount is approximately $5.11 for every $92,000 of primary residence (The average Kanab City home property value), and approximately $9.30 for every $92,000 of commercial property value. The total taxes saved by paying off the Kanab City Firehouse general obligation (GO) bond are approximately $25,000.
At the June 10, 2014 city council meeting, the council authorized the city manager to start the process of increasing property taxes by an amount equal to the tax decrease from retirement of the firehouse G.O. bond. This was a split vote, with Councilman Kent Burggraaf voting no. The net result to Kanab City property owners is that the Kanab City portion of your property taxes will be nearly identical as last year’s taxes.
Kanab’s buildings, parks, streets, storm drainage and recreation fields are in need of capital improvements. It would not be reasonable or appropriate to fund these necessary repairs and improvements from the operations budget. This ongoing list of improvements requires additional capital funds. I will propose to the city council that the estimated $25,000 in unallocated revenues from retiring the firehouse GO bond be split between new capital projects, necessary capital improvements, and a small portion reserved for event sponsorship. I believe community events define a community and should be supported by our city. These events also bring additional revenues into our community, and promote future growth and viability.
On August 12, 2014, Kanab City will hold a Truth and Taxation Public Hearing to gather public input regarding the proposed increase in property taxes. This is your opportunity to give your input to the city council.
On August 26, 2014, at the regular Kanab City Council meeting, the council will vote on the finalized tax rate for the 2014 year.
The taxation process can be complicated and hard to understand, but I believe SUN reporter Jeff Frey stated it best in his article last week when he wrote, “When is a tax increase not a tax increase? When it is equally offset by a tax decrease.”
Shortly, you will receive your “Notice of Property Valuation and Tax” from Kane County. Check your Kanab City line and compare “Taxes Last Year” to “Tax if Proposed Budget Approved.” If your property market value is the same as last year, your taxes will be close to the same amount. I believe that keeping taxes the same, while making an investment in supporting our city infrastructure, is a win for everyone in our community.