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Utah County proposes property tax increase to battle inflation and increasing costs



As people are battling the rising costs of nearly everything in their daily life, so is the Utah County government. 

“We’ve been working on a five-year budget forecast, which is new for the county. We typically have just done one year at a time,” said Utah County Deputy Auditor Rudy Livingston when presenting the five-year forecast to the Utah County Commission on Wednesday. 

The five-year forecast includes:

● 3.5% annual inflation rate 

● Future vendor contract increases of 5-6%

● Employee market salary increases

● Increase in fleet car prices and maintenance costs 


● County employee benefit costs increases

● Increased public defender and capital defense costs

● Capital improvement plan

● Need for more county attorneys 

● Need for additional building and office space

“I’ve been following the federal reserve and nationwide experts, nobody sees interest rates going down anytime soon. We also see salary inflation continuing,” added Livingston. 

While the five-year forecast accounts for increased expenses, the plan also has factored in a property tax revenue increase of 5% annually and a sales tax increase of 3.5% annually. 

“I don’t foresee a 5% property tax growth. I think it’ll be more around 3.5%, and I don’t want to project revenue that we don’t end up getting,” said Commissioner Amelia Gardner, who was concerned about revenue projections being too aggressive. 


The five-year budget forecast projects a $14.9 million deficit for the 2025 fiscal year with that deficit increasing to over $18 million in 2026. 

“I think we have to do something this year. The hole is getting too deep. We’re looking at between a $15 and $20 million [property tax increase]. We would recommend doing a Truth-in-Taxation this year,” said Utah County Auditor Rod Mann. 

“We had to take money out of the bank to balance this year’s budget. Doing that again this year is probably a bad idea,” added Commissioner Brandon Gordon. 

“Our recommendation is to do smaller tax increases every couple of years. … If we do nothing, we will be in trouble,” concluded Mann. 

Mann noted the Truth-in-Taxation process will take several months with a public hearing in August and a potential vote not anticipated until November. 

A $15 million property tax increase would be approximately $4.50 a month on the average home value of about $540,000. 

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