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Council raises property taxes for first time in decades, citing battle with inflation

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With the record $280 million 2023 fiscal budget approved and ready to start on July 1, the Lehi City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to raise city property taxes for the first time in over 20 years. 

“There’s inflation out there, and the cost of police, fire, people and roads is increasing, and we need to recapture some of that [cost],” said City Finance Director Dean Lundell. 

Utah state law requires taxing entities to follow a Truth-in-Taxation (TNT) system. The TNT system is revenue-driven instead of rate-driven, resulting in a decreased property tax rate when property values increase. The objective of the TNT system is to be revenue-neutral and have the taxing entity receive the same amount of revenue each year per property unit.

Last year’s certified tax rate was .001429. With property values rising, this year’s certified tax rate came in at .001150. With the approved property tax increase, this year’s rate will be .001189.

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The average Lehi home value is $558,600. Last year’s tax for that home was $353.31 and will increase to $363.33, an approximate $12 annual increase per household. 

“We’ve had successful growth. That’s why we haven’t had to have a property tax increase all these years, but we also have inflation,” said Mayor Mark Johnson.